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Baxter International (BAX) Q1 Earnings, Sales Beat; View Up

Baxter International Inc BAX reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents and was well above management’s guided range of 28–30 cents.

Moreover, adjusted earnings increased almost 6% year over year driven by 380 basis points (bps) of expansion in operating margin. This has made up for a modest net sales growth, which climbed 4% on a constant currency (cc) basis to $2.38 billion.

Meanwhile, sales managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.35 billion and were in line with the higher end of management’s guided range of 3% to 4% growth at cc. Foreign exchange rate volatility hurt sales by 5% in the reported quarter.

U.S. sales were up 5% on a year-over-year basis to $992 million. International sales increased 4% at cc to $1.4 billion. Including foreign exchange rate volatility, international sales declined 5% on a year-over-year basis.

Hospital Products sales were improved 4% at cc on a year-over-year basis to $1.5 billion, while Renal products sales increased 5% at cc to $898 million.

Higher sales of SIGMA SPECTRUM infusion pump and IV solutions in the U.S. drove Hospital Products sales. Renal products revenues were driven by higher demand for peritoneal dialysis products and continuous renal replacement therapies.

Key Developments

Most recently, Baxter announced the receipt of Marketing Authorization from the Competent Authorities in the U.K. and Denmark for NUMETA G13E 300 mL, a parenteral (intravenous) nutrition (PN) product. These national approvals are the first of 20 European countries where the company is seeking authorization for NUMETA G13E in 2016.

Baxter also announced the U.S. launch of a ready-to-use VANCOMYCIN injection in 0.9% Sodium Chloride (Normal Saline) in 500 mg, 750 mg and 1 gram presentations. VANCOMYCIN injection is an antibiotic used to treat serious or severe infections caused by susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant (beta-lactam-resistant) staphylococci bacteria.

Baxter received CE marking for the expanded indication of HEMOPATCH in the European Union for tissue sealing and dura replacement in addition to hemostasis. The company also received Japanese approval for the expanded use of flowable hemostat FLOSEAL to include endoscopic surgery.

Baxter started enrolling patients in the U.S. clinical trial for VIVIA, an investigational home hemodialysis (HD) system. The trial is designed to study more frequent, extended duration nocturnal home HD therapy (High Dose HD).

Baxalta BXLT Stake Details

Baxter currently holds approximately 30.5 million Baxalta shares. During the quarter, the company retired approximately $3.7 billion of gross debt in exchange of Baxalta’s equity. The company plans to use the remaining equity to contribute to its U.S. qualified pension plan and an equity-for-equity exchange during the second quarter of 2016.

Guidance Raised

For full-year 2016, Baxter now expects sales to increase 3% or 4% after adjusting for increased U.S. competition for cyclophosphamide. Adjusted earnings are now forecasted in the range of $1.59 to $1.67, up from the earlier guided range of $1.46 to $1.54 per share.

For the second quarter of 2016, Baxter expects sales growth of 4%, at cc. Adjusted earnings are forecasted in the range of 38 cents to 40 cents per share.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Baxter has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the medical sector include Le Maitre Vascular Inc. LMAT and Stryker SYK. While Le Maitre sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Stryker carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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