(Adds earnings, sales details, CEO comment; updates shares)
Oct 24 (Reuters) - Edwards Lifesciences Corp on Tuesday reported slightly lower-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue and saw a dip in sales of its critically important transcatheter heart valves from the prior quarter, although they grew about 17 percent from a year earlier.
Edwards shares, which were up 22 percent this year, fell 6 percent to $107.50.
The company maintained its full-year forecast for adjusted 2017 earnings of $3.65 to $3.85 per share and revenue of about $3.4 billion.
Edwards reported a net profit of $170.1 million, or 79 cents a share, compared with a profit of $141.4 million, or 65 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding items, Edwards said it earned 84 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 86 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company said adjusted EPS would have been 88 cents based on a tax benefit related to an accounting change estimated in a previous forecast.
Global sales of transcatheter heart valves, by far the company's most important growth driver, rose 17.3 percent to $481.2 million, but were down from $488 million in the second quarter. Adjusting for an inventory stocking issue in Germany, the transcatheter valve system sales were $498.2 million, the company said.
U.S. sales of the transcatheter valves rose 20.1 percent to $311.6 million, slightly below the $316 million reported in the prior quarter.
Use of the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) systems is approved for patients deemed too frail to endure open-heart surgery and those at intermediate risk. Edwards continues to conduct trials aimed at expanding the potential patient population for the minimally invasive procedure to those at lower risk.
Surgical heart valve sales edged 2.4 percent higher to $195.6 million for the quarter.
Overall revenue for the quarter rose 11 percent to $821.5 million, shy of Wall Street estimates of about $832 million.
Edwards said its facility in Puerto Rico, which produces critical care and vascular products, sustained limited flooding from hurricane Maria, which devastated the island last month, and has been able to resume manufacturing operations.
"While we are assisting a number of our employees who were personally affected by the recent natural disasters, we were fortunate to have experienced minimal business impact," Chief Executive Michael Mussallem said in a statement. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)