* Fourth-quarter net income falls to 4 cents a share from 7
* Excluding items, earnings of 11 cents a share match Wall
* Full-year sales seen at $7.05 billion to $7.35 billion
* Plans to cut 900 to 1,000 jobs worldwide through 2013
* Stock rallies 4.4 percent
By Debra Sherman
Jan 29 Boston Scientific Corp said on
Tuesday that it expected to return to top-line growth this year,
an outlook that cheered investors, who bid the medical device
maker's shares up as much as 8 percent to a 1 1/2-year high.
The company provided the forecast as it posted weaker
fourth-quarter sales. It also announced more job cuts this year,
a move that had been expected.
Executives said on a conference call that they expected a
return to top-line growth in the second half of 2013 after years
of weak demand and declining market share.
The company forecast first-quarter earnings of 4 cents to 7
per share. It expects adjusted earnings, excluding charges for
restructuring, acquisitions and amortization, to be 14 cents to
17 cents per share, with sales at $1.74 billion to $1.82
For the full year, Boston Scientific estimated earnings at
29 cents to 37 cents per share. It said it expected adjusted
earnings of between 64 cents and 70 cents per share on sales of
$7.05 billion to $7.35 billion.
"I think it's realistic," said Jeff Jonas, a portfolio
manager for the Gabelli Health and Wellness Trust Mutual Fund.
"A lot of the headwinds they faced before are starting to
Shares of Boston Scientific were up 4.4 percent at $7.26 in
morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange after rising as
high as $7.43 earlier in the session.
"I'm hesitant to jump 100 percent on the bandwagon, but the
positive signals are definitely there," said Leerink Swann
analyst Danielle Antalffy.
The company, a maker of heart stents, pacemakers, surgical
instruments and other medical devices, said it would cut more
jobs this year as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts.
It said it expected to eliminate 900 to 1,000 jobs worldwide
through 2013, bringing the total headcount reduction to 2,100 to
2,400 positions from 2011 to 2013.
Boston Scientific employs 24,000 workers worldwide,
according to its website.
Executives told a conference call that the cuts would be
"centered around corporate functions that are larger than they
need to be."
Boston Scientific estimated that the move would result in
pretax charges of about $140 million to $160 million. It expects
to take pretax charges of $300 million to $355 million for
implementing the entire restructuring.
In the most recent quarter, net earnings fell to $60
million, or 4 cents per share, from $107 million, or 7 cents per
share, a year earlier, the company said.
Excluding special items, earnings were 11 cents per share,
matching the average estimate on Wall Street, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue dipped to $1.82 billion from $1.85 billion as sales
slipped in the interventional cardiology business, which sells
heart stents, and in the cardiac rhythm management business,
which sells pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillators.
Those two businesses make up more than half of Boston
Scientific's total revenue.
Sales rose in the company's other smaller businesses,
including urology and women's heath, endoscopy and