Bard's costly lawsuits drown profits in Q2

C.R. Bard CEO Timothy Ring

C.R. Bard ($BCR) is staring down more than 3,600 lawsuits related to its vaginal mesh implants, and the process is starting to get expensive: Last quarter, a $275.1 million litigation charge wiped away the company's modest revenue increase, sending the Bard's net income into the red.

Bard posted $497.6 million in sales this quarter, a 2% jump over the same period last year, but, thanks to the sizable spend on product liability lawsuits, the company took a $161.6 million net loss.

But on the sales side, Bard charted encouraging results in oncology, which grew 8% to $214.1 million, becoming the company's largest segment. Urology ticked up 2% to $191.7 million, and surgical specialties jumped 8% to $120 million. Vascular devices, Bard's long-time revenue leader, dropped 4% this quarter to $212.2 million.

And Bard is switching up its business, planning to sell its electrophysiology unit to Boston Scientific ($BSX) for $275 million in a deal expected to close this year. That segment, which cleared $111 million in sales last year, includes cardiac catheter ablation devices, recording systems and mapping tools, and CEO Timothy Ring said Bard is better off cashing out of electrophysiology and doubling down on the spaces it can lead.

"We continue to focus on the execution of our investment plan, which we believe will shift the mix of our portfolio to faster-growing products and geographies and contribute to long-term sustainable leadership positions in our markets," Ring said in a statement.

However, the company's product liability woes are unlikely to wrap up any time soon, as thousands of cases pend and plaintiffs argue that Bard willfully concealed problems with its Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh implant. The company already had to fork over $3.6 million in one case last year, and, with fresh allegations that Bard used plastic unsuitable for human implantation, the number of pending lawsuits is expected to rise.

- read Bard's full results

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