Boston Scientific Profit Falls on Acquisition Costs, But Revenue Rises

Boston Scientific said fourth quarter earnings fell 17% due to higher expenses related to its acquisition of Guidant.

Net income fell to $277 million, or 19 cents a share, from $334 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Before exceptional items, but including stock-based comensation, the company earned 10 cents a share in the fourth quarter. Analysts were looking for 11 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue jumped 34% to $2.07 billion, in line with expectations.

Boston Scientific said that forecasting growth in its two key markets -- heart stents and implantable defibrillators -- is difficult given the volatility in those markets and so it only provided an outlook for the first quarter.

The Natick, Mass. company, which acquired Guidant last year, forecast first-quarter earnings per share of 15 to 21 cents a share, excluding special charges, amortization and stock compensation.

The company said it anticipates first-quarter sales of $2.0 billion to $2.1 billion, compared with the consensus of $2.16 billion.