FRANKFURT Fresenius Medical Care, the world's largest dialysis group, cut its estimates for sales and profits this year to take account of the impact of a strong U.S. dollar on earnings outside the United States.
FMC said on Wednesday it now expected 2012 revenue and net profit to be as much as 2 percent below its original forecast of about $14 billion and $1.14 billion respectively. The company had said previously a deviation of plus or minus 2 percent from its goal was possible.
The group, which dominates the U.S. dialysis clinics market along with rival DaVita Inc., also reported a 3 percent drop in third quarter net income to $270 million. This fell short of analysts' average forecasts of $285 million.
The company reports in U.S. dollars because it derives about two thirds of its revenue from North America and the value of its revenues from Europe declines when the dollar rises against the euro.
Equinet Bank analyst Edouard Aubery said it was "quite unusual" for FMC to miss analysts' forecasts. "We would stay away from the stock today," Aubery said.
FMC's shares were down 3.5 percent.
The company also revealed plans to take a $70 million one-off charge that will be excluded from its full-year earnings outlook. This mainly relates to FMC's plans to buy itself out of a fixed-price contract for iron drugs that have become cheaper.
These drugs treat low levels of iron in the body that typically affect dialysis patients.
FMC's parent company Fresenius, the diversified healthcare group, reported slightly higher than expected adjusted net income on Wednesday, supported by growth at its generic drugs and hospitals divisions.
Adjusted net income in the first nine months of the year rose 21 percent to 682 million euros ($885 million). That was above the average estimate of 675 million euros in a Reuters poll.
Fresenius still expects 2012 net income up by between 14 and 16 percent, adjusted for currency swings and excluding the effects of a failed takeover of Rhoen-Klinikum AG.
Fresenius last month raised the full-year profit outlook for its generic infusion drug unit Kabi for the third time this year as it benefits from rivals' supply shortages.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Andreas Kröner and Maria Sheahan. Editing by Jane Merriman)