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Natus Medical shares rise on strong 4Q, outlook

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) -- Shares of Natus Medical Inc., which makes medical devices used for newborn care, jumped Thursday after the company reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

Natus earned $4.8 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of $17.3 million, or 61 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before. Excluding one-time items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of 29 cents per share for the recent quarter.

Revenue rose 41 percent to $90.5 million from $64.1 million.

Analysts, on average, expected an adjusted profit of 25 cents per share on $93 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Natus attributed the lower-than-expected revenue to delayed orders and soft demand from some international markets and its domestic neurology business.

For the full year 2012, Natus earned $3.6 million, or 12 cents per share, compared with a loss of $11.7 million, or 41 cents per share, in 2011. Revenue increased to $291.7 million from $232.7 million.

The company also backed its 2013 outlook and issued a strong guidance for the current quarter. It still expects to post an adjusted 2013 profit of 81 cents to 84 cents on revenue of $362 million to $367 million. Analysts expect earnings of 82 cents per share on $362.1 million in revenue.

For the first quarter, the company said it expects an adjusted profit of 9 to 10 cents per share on $83 million to $85 million in revenue, while analysts expect a profit of 9 cents per share on $82.6 million in revenue.

Shares of San Carlos, Calif.-based Natus rose $1.20, or 10.4 percent, to $12.66 in late trading, after peaking at $12.70 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $9.65 and $13.84.