Spectranetics Corp. said Thursday said it boosted both revenue and profits by double-digit levels in the fourth quarter, driven largely by strong growth in the use of its medical lasers and related products to clear blockages in leg arteries.
The Colorado Springs-based company made $883,000, or 2 cents a share, in the October-to-December period, up 31.2 percent from the final quarter of 2012 and more than double the $343,000, or 1 cent a share, it earned the previous quarter.
Revenue in the fourth quarter rose 14.1 percent to a record $41.9 million, the ninth consecutive quarter that sales have increased from the previous three-month period. It was the biggest quarterly percentage increase in more than five years.
"We are executing on several compelling growth drivers across our business," including expanding the market for using its laser to remove infected pacemaker leads, introducing new products, getting federal approval to use its laser for new uses and expanding into new markets, Spectranetics CEO Scott Drake said in a news release. He also noted during a conference call with stock analysts that a major sales-force expansion "adds fuel to the fire."
Spectranetics reported a small loss - $370,000, or 1 cent a share - for 2013, compared with profits totaling $2.23 million, or 6 cents a share, for 2012. The company would have been profitable last year were it not for $2.14 million in taxes it had to pay under a new medical device levy imposed in 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Revenue for 2013 was up 13.2 percent to $158.8 million, an improvement 10.2 percent the previous year.
Revenue for the quarter and the year beat both the most optimistic forecast and the average of the forecasts published by the eight stock analysts who follow Spectranetics. The fourth-quarter profit and full-year loss met expectations that analysts had set.
The company told stockholders that revenue gains are expected to continue, totaling $177.5 million to $180 million this year. But company officials repeated a warning from the previous quarter that the sales force expansion will result in an annual loss of $3 million to $5 million.
Guy Childs, Spectranetics' chief financial officer, told analysts that revenue in the current quarter likely will decline from the fourth quarter, and losses during the first half of the 2014 will amount to at least $8 million.
Spectranetics shares surged Tuesday to a record $29.36 after the company announced it had completed a major test of its laser to treat blockages in stents inserted into leg arteries - a market estimated at $750 million. The company said it hopes to seek federal approval by mid-April to market its laser and related products to clear such blockages; Drake told analysts that the Food and Drug Administration typically processes such requests in five months.
Spectranetics started 30 years ago in Colorado Springs to develop medical lasers.
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