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Baxter 1Q profit rises 2 percent, outlook trimmed

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 4:17am
The Associated Press

Baxter International Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 2 percent on a boost in sales of bioscience and kidney care products, but the medical products maker cut its outlook because of charges related to health care reform.

The Deerfield, Ill., company earned $525 million, or 86 cents per share, in the quarter ended in March, up from $516 million, or 83 cents per share, a year prior.

Sales rose 11 percent to $3.14 billion from $2.82 billion. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, sales increased 5 percent.

Excluding items, the company says it earned 93 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations. The company posted a charge of $39 million, or 7 cents per share, related to health care reform.

In 2010, the company expects profit between $3.92 and $4 per share, down from a previous range of $4.20 to $4.28 per share. It cited charges tied to changes in retiree prescription drug coverage included in the health care reform law enacted last month. Several other major companies have cited similar charges for the new law, which aims to cover millions of uninsured people. Companies can't write off a federal subsidy that covers part of the cost of retiree prescription drug coverage.

During the second quarter, the company expects profit between 90 cents and 93 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expect second-quarter profit of $1.06 per share and full-year profit of $4.24 per share.

In premarket trading, Baxter shares slumped to $53.65, down 9 percent from Wednesday's close of $58.95.

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