Medtronic profit beats as demand for devices rebounds from pandemic lows

(Reuters) - Medtronic Plc MDT.N beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday, and forecast improving demand for its medical devices in the back half of the year as patients catch up on procedures deferred during coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

Shares of the Dublin-based company, the last among major medical device makers to report quarterly results, were up 4% at $104.50 as it joined peers in saying that demand for less urgent medical procedures had recovered from the lows experienced in April.

“Our average daily sales rate saw a significant step-up in May and then again in June, and that continued into July and August,” Chief Financial Officer Karen Parkhill said on a post-earnings conference call.

Medtronic, however, did not provide a financial outlook for the year, citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

The company’s expectation of continued sequential growth “seems highly plausible,” Cowen analyst Joshua Jennings said.

The world’s largest standalone medical device maker also posted a more than two-fold jump in sales of ventilators in the first quarter, as it boosted output to meet a surge in demand for the devices used to help severely ill COVID-19 patients breathe.

“We increased our internal ventilator production fivefold in a matter of just a few months from 200 a week to over 1,000 a week,” Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Martha said.

Sales at Medtronic’s minimally invasive therapies business, which makes surgical instruments to treat hernias and kidney diseases, fell 14.2%.

Excluding items, the company earned 62 cents per share in the first quarter ended July 31, beating the average expectation of 18 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Revenue fell 13.2% to $6.51 billion, but was above estimates of $5.54 billion.

Reporting by Dania Nadeem and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni