St. Jude outlook lower on foreign exchange impact

Illustration of St. Jude Medical's LibraXP device
Source: St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical on Wednesday predicted that foreign-exchange headwinds would pressure its sales and dampen its outlook for the coming year.

Company executives told analysts the currency exchange rates would reduce sales in 2015 by $325 to $350 million.

St. Jude set full-year earnings in the range of $3.95 to $4 per share, with revenue ranging from $5.45 billion to $5.55 billion. Leerink Swann analyst Danielle Antalffy said that range was well below her estimate of $4.15 earnings per share.

The strong dollar has affected the earnings of many companies this quarter. When the dollar strengthens, it can pressure revenue for companies that do business overseas, because sales made in other countries' currencies translate back into fewer dollars.

For the fourth quarter, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based company said it had net income $245 million, or 84 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs and asset impairment costs, came to $1.03 per share.

The results met Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of $1.03 per share.

The medical device maker posted revenue of $1.44 billion in the period, beating Street forecasts. Analysts expected $1.43 billion, according to Zacks.

Sales of the company's largest unit, which sells pacemakers and other heart implants, fell by $14 million. Sales of the company's atrial fibrillation devices, used to correct heart defects, increased 17 percent to $283 million.

For the current quarter ending in March, St. Jude expects its per-share earnings to range from 90 cents to 92 cents.

The company said it expects revenue in the range of $1.31 billion to $1.32 billion for the fiscal first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $1.37 billion.

St. Jude shares have risen 2.5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has declined slightly more than 1 percent. The stock has climbed roughly 9 percent in the last 12 months.

Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on STJ at http://www.zacks.com/ap/STJ.