Market Insider

Shares of IV saline maker Baxter dip after employee gets subpoena about possible price fixing

Key Points
  • Health-care company Baxter International is involved in a criminal investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice about price fixing for intravenous saline sales.
  • Shares were falling Monday morning.
  • The subpoena to an employee was revealed in a filing Friday.
Baxter International Inc.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Baxter International shares fell Monday, the first trading day after the medical supplies company said one of its employees received a grand jury subpoena in a case about intravenous saline pricing and sales.

The stock dropped about 1.4 percent shortly after the open Monday but recovered about half its losses within the first hour. Shares of Baxter closed down almost 1 percent at $52.82 per share.

Baxter said Friday the subpoena, obtained by federal investigators, is "pursuant to a criminal investigation." It calls for the employee to produce documents and testimony related to pricing, shortages of Baxter's intravenous solutions "and communications with competitors regarding the same," the company said.

Baxter disclosed in February that the New York attorney general had asked for information about its business practices in the IV saline industry, and a class action lawsuit filed last year accused the pharmaceutical company of participating in a conspiracy of sorts to "fix" saline solution prices.

Revenues in the company's so-called fluid systems segment, which includes the intravenous saline sales being called into question, was $2.3 billion last year, representing slightly more than 25 percent of total sales.

The health-care company said in Friday's SEC filing that it is cooperating with this latest criminal investigation.