BANGALORE, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Natus Medical Inc (BABY.O) projected its fourth-quarter and 2009 results below Wall Street targets, citing tough economic conditions and lower spending by hospitals, sending its shares to its lowest in three years.
The maker of neurodiagnostic and newborn care products is the latest among a host of medical device makers to have been hit by lower hospital spending and a fluctuating dollar.
For the fourth quarter, the company sees a profit of 21 cents to 22 cents a share and revenue of about $43.5 million.
Analysts expect earnings of 25 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $49.0 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company also said it sees a small drop in sales of devices and systems in 2009, but expects sales of its disposable supplies related to newborn hearing screening business to rise.
Roth Capital analyst Matt Dolan expects the company to see a slower first half due to cautious spending by hospitals.
For 2009, the company expects earnings of 57 cents to 61 cents a share on revenue of $166 million to $170 million.
Analysts forecast profit of 85 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $194.2 million.
Shares of the San Carlos, California-based company were trading down nearly 24 percent at $7.55 on Nasdaq. They earlier hit a low of $7.32.
For the alerts, please double-click [ID:nWNAB1164]
For the company press release, please double-click [ID:nBw205394a] (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva)