It's amazing how a company like Baxter
The seemingly neverending delays in relaunching its Colleague infusion pumps forced Baxter to take a $45 million charge, but the company still posted a 10% increase in earnings per share. Baxter's biosciences business lead the way with a 13% year-over-year increase in sales, which also pushed up gross margin, since given this division's more profit-rich products. Most impressively, the earnings growth came despite a 19% increase in research and development costs, as the company invests more in clinical trials and milestone payments to partners.
After talking further with the FDA, Baxter doesn't think it'll be able to relaunch the Colleague infusion pumps this year. While that will only reduce its revenue guidance by about $45 million, since it hadn't planned on relaunching the pumps until the second half of the year, one has to wonder whether Baxter's prolonged absence from the market will help other infusion pump makers like Hospira
Baxter's other recall has to do with contaminated heparin. The company isn't particularly worried about losing business to APP Pharmaceuticals
Even without relaunching Colleague or heparin this year, Baxter predicts sales growth of 5%-6%, excluding currency exchanges, and adjusted earnings-per-share growth of 14%-16%. For all its apparent bad luck, it looks like Baxter's good quarter might be the start of an equally robust year.