Baxter’s 4Q Profits Rise 16 Pct.
DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Medical products maker Baxter International Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profits rose 16 percent, matching analysts’ expectations.
Baxter reported $212 million in profits, or 73 cents per diluted share, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 compared with $182 million, or 64 cents, during the comparable period a year earlier.
Shares of Baxter rose $3.12 1/2, or 5 percent, to close at $69.81 1/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Baxter said its fourth-quarter sales were boosted, in part, by strong demand for its blood-therapy products. Anesthetic products also helped fuel sales.
``We performed extremely well, despite the economic turmoil that occurred in several countries during the year. We expect continued strong growth internationally in 1999,″ said Carlos del Salto, Baxter group vice president.
Fourth-quarter sales, paced by those in Latin America, totaled $1.8 billion, up 13 percent from the $1.6 billion reported for the same period a year earlier.
For the year, Baxter’s profits rose 12 percent to $733 million, from $652 million reported in 1997. Earnings per diluted share rose 10 percent to $2.54, up from $2.31 in 1997. The company said these results do not include special charges taken during previous quarters.
Sales for the year totaled $6.6 billion, up from $6.1 billion in 1997.