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BAUSCH & LOMB SEEQUENCE AND MEDALIST CONTACT LENS SALES JUMP 55% IN FOURTH QUARTER; BAXTER EARNINGS CLIMB 8%, SALES UP 10% IN FOURTH QUARTER

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

The company declared that in its medical sector, "worldwide demand for SeeQuence disposable lenses and the Medalist line of contact lenses used in planned replacement programs continued to rise sharply in the fourth quarter. Combined sales of these two product lines rose more than 55% for the final three months period and 65% for the year in total." The firm added that "excellent revenue progress in the rigid gas permeable segment of the contact lens market was also achieved in both periods." Lens sales for the year were up 13%, the company stated. Sales by B&L's health care segment, including the personal health, medical and biomedical sectors, was up 6% in the fourth quarter to $277.4 mil. compared to $261.7 in the same period a year ago, while revenue of $1.03 bil. for the year was ahead 9% compared to $943.8 mil. in 1991. Corporate sales in the fourth quarter, including the health care and optical segments, increased 11% to $428.4 mil. compared to $386.9 mil. in the same period in 1991. Revenues of $1.7 bil. for the year were ahead 12% over the 1991 amount of $1.5 bil. Earnings in the fourth quarter of $51.7 mil. and the full year of $171.4 mil. both were up 15% compared to the 1991 fourth quarter and full year totals of $45 mil. and $149.3 mil., respectively. The earnings comparison excludes "costs for special charges and the cumulative effect of the change in accounting for post- retirement benefits that reduced earnings in 1991." Baxter's income from continuing operations advanced 8% from $162 mil. in the final fiscal quarter of 1991 to $175 mil. in the fourth quarter of 1992, as the company completed a spin-off of its alternate site businesses in a move to focus on its core hospital supply segments. Sales for the period increased 10% to $2.3 bil. from $2.1 bil. in last year's fourth quarter. For the year, revenues of $8.5 bil. were up 8.6% compared to $7.8 bil. in 1991, while earnings increased 10.7% to $561 mil. from $507 mil. last year. The company noted that progress in distribution and value added programs contributed to the financial performance during the year. For example, Baxter said that sales to the 35 U.S. hospitals who are now participating in the firm's ValueLink just-in-time type of distribution program "increased more than 50% in 1992." Pfizer's hospital products sales increased 13% in the 1992 fourth quarter helping push the company's healthcare segment revenues ahead 28% during the period, Pfizer said in reporting results for the final quarter and full year ended Dec. 31. For the full year hospital products revenues increased 10%, while the health care segment advanced 19%, the firm noted. Led by the health care segment's performance, Pfizer's corporate revenues in the fourth quarter moved up 5.2% to $1.95 bil. from $1.85 bil. in the same period in the previous year. Pfizer full year revenues were $7.2 bil., up 4% from $6.95 bil. in 1991. Net income in the fourth quarter was $278.8 mil. compared to $900,000 in the fourth quarter last year, when the company took a $195 mil. after tax charge to establish a fund to cover future Shiley heart valve fracture claims. For the year, Pfizer earned $810.9 mil. ahead 12.3% compared to $722.1 mil. in 1991, a figure that includes the Shiley charge. Underutilization of manufacturing capacity pushed Collagen's operations $1.4 mil. into the red in the second quarter of fiscal 1993, although the company registered a net profit of $11 mil. during the period from the accounting of the sale of a part of its stake in Target Therapeutics. President Howard Palefsky noted that "plant utilization is currently at approximately 40%." He added, however, that the plant utilization problem will be quickly erased once the firm obtains FDA approval for two products currently under review: Contingen Bard collagen implant to treat urinary incontinence, and the Collagraft bone graft matrix. For the three months, Collagen revenues were $12.2 mil., compared to $16.5 mil. in the same period in the previous year, a quarter which included Target's contribution to consolidated sales. For the six months, Collagen sales were $22.4 mil., compared to $30.9 mil. in the first half of 1992. After a loss in the first quarter, Collagen's net income for the six months was $9.4 mil. Bard's net income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992 was $21.1 mil., up 40% from $15.1 mil. in the same period in the previous year. For the year, earnings were up 31% to $75 mil. from $57.2 mil. in 1991. Sales during the final quarter rose 13.3% to $255.5 mil. from $225.6 mil. in the fourth quarter of 1991. Volume for the year reached $990.2 mil., ahead 13% compared to $876 mil. the previous year. Bard Chairman George Maloney said that the firm "had balanced sales growth with our cardiovascular, urological and surgical products groups each growing in excess of 12%. We continue to focus our research and development resources on enhancing our technologies and product performance."
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