Hologic cuts full-year profit forecast, shares down

Mon Aug 5, 2013 6:34pm EDT

(Reuters) - Struggling medical device maker Hologic Inc (HOLX.O) cut its full-year profit forecast weeks into CEO Jack Cumming's return to the top job.

Hologic shares fell 3 percent in post-market trading on Monday after the weak outlook, which the company said was more "achievable and realistic."

"Although our third-quarter earnings was in line with our guidance, right now Hologic is not where we want it to be," said Cumming, who was the CEO of the company from 2001 to 2009.

"We don't have the acceleration in growth rate to achieve our prior guidance," he said on a conference call.

Cumming returns at a time when Hologic faces cuts in hospital spending and the lack of reimbursement for 3-D mammography system, which does not have a billing code yet.

ISI Group analyst Vijay Kumar said the forecast was conservative as the new CEO probably chose to lower the bar for the company's earnings.

"The ThinPrep (cancer test) decline came in a little worse than expectations and there's also a little bit of conservatism on the sustained strength in breast (health) products," he said.

Hologic said sales of its cancer screening test ThinPrep fell in the quarter.

Sales in its breast health business, which have been declining, rose 9 percent on strong sales of its 3-D mammography systems.

Hologic slashed its adjusted earnings forecast to $1.46-$1.47 per share for the year ending September 28 from $1.54-$1.56 per share.

The company also cut its full-year revenue outlook for the second time. It now expects revenue of $2.51 billion-$2.52 billion, down from its previous forecast of $2.53 billion-$2.55 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting full-year earnings of $1.54 per share on revenue of $2.54 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hologic forecast fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 36-37 cents per share, short of analysts' estimates of 44 cents per share.

Hologic shares closed fell to $21.75 in aftermarket trading after closing at $22.47 on the Nasdaq on Monday.

(Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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