Edwards' Q1 income slips due to increased spending

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Edwards Lifesciences, a developer of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring, has reported net income for the quarter, which ended March 31, of $47.7 million, compared with net income of $60.5 million for the same period in 2009.

However, the Irvine, Calif.-based company said its 2010 first quarter net sales increased 8.6 percent to $340.5 million. Domestic and international sales for the first quarter were $138.3 million and $202.2 million, respectively.

For the first quarter, Edwards reported heart valve therapy sales of $196.7 million, representing 15.4 percent growth over last year. Strong transcatheter heart valve sales of $39.1 million continued to drive “significant growth during the quarter,” the company said.

"While our first quarter surgical heart valve growth rate was lower than expected, we anticipate improvement throughout the year," said Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards’ chairman and CEO.

However, cardiac surgery systems sales for the quarter were $24.8 million, representing 10.2 percent growth over last year, according to the company, which included a $0.6 million benefit from foreign exchange.

Vascular sales were $13.9 million, a decline from $16.1 million in the same quarter last year due to the divestiture of the LifeStent product line.

Edwards said that selling, general and administrative expenses were $134 million for the quarter, compared with $121.9 million in the prior year. The increase was driven mainly by foreign exchange and higher expenses, primarily to support transcatheter heart valve sales. Research and development expenses for the quarter were $45.2 million, or a 13.3 percent increase compared with the prior-year first quarter.