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This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

JOHNSON & JOHNSON'S ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY BUSINESS SALES SOAR 38% in the second quarter, helping to push J&J's worldwide professional business segment sales up 6.3% to $1.2 bil. for the three months. Ethicon Endo-Surgery's endoscopic product sales leapt 65% for the period over year-ago quarter levels, while mechanical wound closure product sales increased 13%. Revenue growth in the professional business segment also was aided by "continued expansion of the disposable contact lens business with Acuvue and Surevue, and the further market penetration of the One Touch II blood glucose monitoring system," according to the company. The firm adds that domestic professional sales growth of 8.9% to $712 mil. for the second quarter "was influenced by strong performances in the Protect IV catheter safety system products, the Dinamap Plus vital signs monitor, and PFC hip and knee orthopedic joint reconstruction products." Overall, J&J reported consolidated sales of $3.5 bil. for the three months, a 3.8% gain, and earnings of $495 mil., up 9.5%. International sales were up 1.5% to $1.8 bil., while domestic volume increased 6.2% to $1.7 bil. Commenting on the results, Ralph Larsen, chairman and CEO stated: "Our sales growth was slowed by the weak economies in several major countries around the world, adjustments in health care systems in several major international markets, and the continued strength of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies." Owens & Minor reported a 17.8% jump in sales from continuing operations to $341.2 mil. in the second quarter (ended June 30). Earnings from continuing operations were $4.3 mil., up 18%. Results for the three months include the activity of Youngstown, Ohio-based distributor Lyons Physician Supply Company, which was acquired during the quarter. Results do not include sales and earnings from A. Kuhlman & Co., a distribution company based in Detroit, Michigan that Owens & Minor acquired in June. During the quarter, the Richmond, Virginia-based distributor of medical products also was awarded two new supply contracts, one with Premier Hospitals Alliance and the other with the Department of Defense ("The Gray Sheet" July 12, p. 9). Becton Dickinson reported that diagnostic systems products sales jumped 8.8% to $275.2 mil. for the third quarter (ended June 30), while sales of medical supplies and devices gained 3.7% to $350.2 mil. Overall sales reached $625.4 mil., a 5.9% gain over the year-ago quarter, with earnings up 4.8% to $58.2 mil. Chairman, President and CEO Raymond Gilmartin explained that "primary products, such as needles and syringes, and our recently introduced hypodermic safety products showed good growth," although overall sales of medical segment products in the US "were less than we had expected for the quarter." International sales were up 8.3% to $283.6 mil., while domestic revenues gained 4% to $341.7 mil. Medical devices and diagnostics division sales at Lilly grew 3% in the second quarter (ended June 30). The improvement was led by the Devices for Vascular Intervention and Physio-Control subsidiaries. Lilly attributed the revenue growth at Physio-Control to resumption of Lifepak 10 shipments during the quarter ("The Gray Sheet" May 24, I&W-4). For the three months, Lilly reported overall revenues of $1.6 bil., a 5.6% gain over the year-ago period, while earnings advanced 1.9% to $346.8 mil. At a recent analysts meeting, Lilly addressed the need for cost cutting measures at the firm (see story, p. 9). Heart valve manufacturer St. Jude saw revenues beat ahead 17.4% to $66.9 mil. in the second quarter (ended June 30) compared to the year-ago three months. Income advanced 15.9% to $28.8 mil. Commenting on the results, Ronald Matricaria, president and CEO of St. Jude, noted "particular strength in the international markets" despite "increased competition." Milpitas, California ultrasound and x-ray system manufacturer Diasonics reported second quarter (ended June 30) sales of $66.1 mil., off 5% from year-ago period revenues; for the three months, the firm had a loss of $5.1 mil. compared to a loss of $9.7 mil. for the second quarter of 1992. Results for the period include a $1 mil. "reserve against earnings" related to "receivables due from a former distributor" of the firm's OEC Medical Systems' products. The firm says OEC has "commenced litigation" in an effort to "collect this receivable." OEC, Diasonics' specialty x-ray and urology business, had revenues of $22.5 mil. in the second quarter, down 4.4% from the three month period a year ago. Income was $202,000 compared to a loss of $365,000 in the second quarter of 1992. Results were partially affected by "soft market conditions" and "by production difficulties related to a key component supplied by an outside vendor. As a result, a significant number of the company's 9400 C-arm mobile digital x-ray systems scheduled for shipment during the quarter were delayed." Last year's loss includes a $3.1 mil. for an unfavorable litigation judgment. The Diasonics Ultrasound business experienced a decline in revenues of 5% to $44.4 mil. in the second quarter and a loss of $3.1 mil. compared to a loss of $8.7 mil. in the year-ago quarter. The loss in 1992 includes $3.5 mil. in non-recurring charges. Diasonics' third business, Focal Surgery, had no sales and a loss of $2.2 mil. for the quarter. Focal is developing the Sonablate system for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia ("The Gray Sheet" May 3, p. 17) and plans to begin US clinical trials in September under an investigational device exemption cleared during the quarter.

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