Feb 3 (Reuters) - Medical device maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp said on Monday that fourth-quarter net earnings declined from a year ago due to restructuring charges and costs for launching its next-generation replacement heart valves.
Excluding special items, earnings topped analysts' expectations on stronger sales of its transcatheter heart valves that are implanted in a less-invasive procedure than traditional open-heart surgery.
The medical device maker said net income fell to $75.8 million, or 68 cents a share, from $91.1 million, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, Edwards earned 91 cents a share.
Fourth-quarter net sales rose 5 percent to $536 million. Sales of transcatheter heart valves, which are threaded into place with a catheter through the arteries, climbed 14.2 percent to $183.9 million.
Edwards said it still expects 2014 earnings, excluding items, in a wide range around $3.00 per share, on sales of $2.05 billion to $2.25 billion.
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