Strong heart valve sales drive up Edwards profits, income for Q4, FY09
Edwards Lifesciences, a provider of products to treat advanced cardiovascular disease, has reported strong income and sales gains in the fourth quarter of 2009, as well as the 2009 fiscal year, mainly bolstered by an uptick in heart valve sales.

For the twelve months ending Dec. 31, 2009, the company recorded net income of $229.1 million, compared with $128.9 million for 2008. Its net sales for the year increased 6.8 percent to $1.32 billion. Domestic and international sales for the full year were $556.1 million and $765.3 million, respectively, according to Edwards.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company reported a net income for the quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2009, of $47.6 million, compared with a net income of $38.1 million for the same period in 2008. Likewise, its fourth quarter net sales increased 11.9 percent to $346.7 million.

"The fourth quarter caps a very strong year of financial results and progress on our exciting new technologies," said Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards Lifesciences' chairman and CEO. "In 2009, we more than doubled our Sapien sales to $112 million. This quarter's results were also highlighted by U.S. share gains in surgical heart valve therapy.”

For the fourth quarter, the company reported heart valve therapy sales of $188.3 million, representing 25.8 percent growth over last year, which Edwards said were driven by strong transcatheter heart valve sales and recent U.S. surgical product introductions.

"In the U.S., we continued to see strong adoption of our premium Magna Ease aortic valve. Additionally, we achieved transcatheter heart valve sales of $34.9 million, said Mussallem, who added that these increases were driven by European and “continued international expansion.”

Cardiac surgery systems sales for the fourth quarter were $23.9 million, representing a 1 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2008. However, the company noted its vascular unit experienced a 5.2 net loss for the quarter.

For the year, Edwards said its heart valve sales increased 107.5 percent, posting gains of $714.9 million in 2009. Its cardiac surgery systems unit had a net income jump of 3.6 percent, reaching sales of $92.8 million. Finally, similar to its quarterly returns, the vascular unit, represented the only drop in sales—28.1 percent decrease.