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Edwards Lifesciences cuts heart valve sales view

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Heart device maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. reported weaker-than-expected results for its first quarter on Tuesday, and cut its forecast for sales of its Sapien valve.

The company said its net income more than doubled in the first quarter because of a payment from Medtronic Inc. related to patent litigation and an income tax credit. Stripping out those gains, however, its income was less than expected and so were its sales. The company said it now expects sales of Sapien valves to grow 25 to 30 percent in 2013, down from its previous estimate of 30 to 45 percent.

Shares of Edwards Lifesciences tumbled $12.43, or 15 percent, to $70.38 in aftermarket trading.

Sapien is designed to replace diseased heart valves. It is designed to be guided to the heart through an artery in the leg. The diseased valves are normally are removed through open heart surgery, which is a more complicated procedure. The FDA approved Sapien in November 2011 for patients who couldn't have open heart surgery. In October, the agency expanded that approval to cover patients for whom surgery was considered high-risk.

Edwards said sales of the valves rose 40 percent to $169.7 million in the first quarter. It now expects to report $670 million to $750 million in total sales of the products, including $350 million to $400 million in revenue in the U.S.

In February the company forecast $710 million to $790 million in Sapien sales, with $390 million to $40 million in U.S. sales.

Edwards said surgical heart valve therapy product sales fell 3 percent to $198.1 million and revenue from critical care product sales fell 4 percent to $128.9 million.

The company's net income grew to $144.9 million, or $1.24 per share, from $65.1 million, or 55 cents per share. In the latest quarter Edwards received an $83.6 million initial payment from Medtronic Inc. and an $8.4 million tax benefit. Excluding those costs the company said it earned 72 cents per share. Total revenue rose 8 percent, to $496.7 million from $459.2 million.

Analysts were expecting net income of 76 cents per share and $519 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

In late 2012 a federal appeals court upheld a ruling that Medtronic's CoreValve System infringes on a patent belonging to Edwards. Medtronic said it disagrees with the ruling and was considering its next step.

The $8.4 million tax benefit reflects the reinstatement of a federal research and development income tax credit.

Shares of Edwards Lifesciences fell 82 cents to $82.81 on Tuesday before the earnings report was issued. Through Tuesday's close, stock had lost 23 percent of its value since early October, when Edwards gave a third-quarter revenue forecast that fell short of expectations. That included disappointing Sapien sales.