Earnings: Invacare hums, Sepracor profits

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

ELYRIA, Ohio - Despite a slumping economy and an industry reeling from several reimbursement cuts, it was "pretty much business as usual" at Invacare for the fourth quarter of 2008.

That's what Chairman and CEO Mal Mixon told investors during an earnings call Jan. 29.

"We've had strong demand in the quarter and it has continued into the early part of the year," Mixon said. "I've been with this company now for 30 years, and I don't think our quality and deliveries have ever been better. We're in the high 90% bill rates. We've gotten over all of the computer problems that have plagued us for a couple of years. We're humming right now. We're very fortunate to be in a field where it doesn't really matter what the economy is doing."

About the 36-month oxygen cap and the 9.5% nationwide reimbursement cut, Mixon said: "I think the cuts will further make our HomeFill and our oxygen technology even more desirable, because our providers can enjoy lower cost by using this technology."

Invacare reported adjusted net earnings of $19.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to $19 million for the same period in 2007. Net sales were $430.4 million vs. $426.8 million, a 0.9% increase.

The manufacturer reported adjusted net earnings of $43.1 million for 2008 compared to $35.7 million for 2007. Net sales were $1.76 billion vs. $1.6 billion, a 9.6% increase.

During the earnings call, Mixon and CFO Robert Gudbranson highlighted the performance of North America HME. The division earned $187.3 million in net sales for the fourth quarter compared to $173.1 million for the same period in 2007, an 8.2% increase. Sales were $741.5 million for 2008 vs. $669.4 million for 2007, a 10.8% increase.

"I think there's a lot of execution being done properly by the team in a number of locations, particularly in North America HME and the Institutional Products Group," Gudbranson said. 

Invacare reported a slight decrease in net sales at Invacare Supply Group. The division earned $68.4 million in sales for the fourth quarter compared to $68.6 million for the same period in 2007, a 0.2% decrease. 

"We had organic growth in every business, other than the supply group, which has basically flat, despite losing some national providers who exited the supply business," Gudbranson said.

For the year, net sales for Invacare Supply Group were $265.8 million for 2008 vs. $257 million for 2007, a 3.4% increase.

Invacare gave this guidance for 2009: organic growth in net sales of 5% to 7%.

 

Sepracor records profit, cuts jobs

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Drug manufacturer Sepracor on Wednesday reported earnings of $88.4 million for the last quarter of 2008, compared with losses of $5 million for the same period in 2007. For the full year, the company earned $515.1 million, compared to $58.3 million in 2007. Sales of Xopenex fell 3% to $137.7 million for the last quarter of 2008. Brovana had sales of $19.3 million. Sepracor officials said they plan to lay off 20% of the company's workforce--about 530 people--and will refocus efforts on respiratory drugs, which are less expensive to promote than its popular sleep drug, Lunesta

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