Baxter sees double-digit growth in Q4, 2008

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Baxter International has reported 2008 fourth quarter net income of $569 million, an increase of 19 percent from the $478 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company said its fourth quarter results include an after-tax special charge of approximately $5 million for in-process research and development related to the acquisition of certain technology applicable to its BioScience business.

Worldwide sales totaled $3.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, and increased 4 percent over the prior-year quarter. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, worldwide sales increased 9 percent and exceeded the company's guidance of approximately 7 percent growth. Sales within the U.S. increased to $1.4 billion, while international sales grew 3 percent to $1.8 billion. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, international sales grew 10 percent, according to Baxter.

Medication Delivery sales increased 2 percent from last year to $1.2 billion, driven by strength in IV therapies, anesthesia products and injectables, according to the company. With more than 80 percent of sales outside the U.S., Baxter said its business was “significantly impacted by the stronger U.S. dollar, as well as a decline in sales of the company's lower-margin hemodialysis products and a difficult growth comparison created by the loss of the peritoneal dialysis tender in Mexico in the first quarter of 2008.”

For its full-year 2008 results, Baxter reported that its net income totaled $2 billion and increased 18 percent from 2007. The company said its worldwide sales grew 10 percent in 2008 to $12.3 billion, an increase from $11.3 billion reported last year.

Baxter said it increased its investments in research and development by 14 percent in 2008, to $868 million.