Boston Sci sees earnings jump as sales slip

Boston Scientific's ($BSX) Q1 earnings numbers dazzled Thursday as the Natick, MA-based device giant reported net income of $113 million, or $0.08 per share--a big jump from $46 million, or $0.03 per share, during the same period last year.

Still, the company saw quarterly sales of about $1.87 billion--that's down 3% from last year's $1.93 billion. Particularly hit was the company's cardiac rhythm management (CRM) unit, which saw sales of $501 million in the first quarter, down from $559 million from the same period last year.

This last bit of news shouldn't come as much of a surprise to many. The global CRM market has hit a rough patch. Boston Sci rival St. Jude Medical's ($STJ) CRM division also struggled. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator sales dipped 3%, to $450 million, and pacemaker sales declined 4%, to $285 million.

However, Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen said in a note that now that Boston Sci's and rival St. Jude Medical's earnings numbers are out, the global CRM market was down 4.9% in the first quarter versus 9.6% in the fourth quarter, according to Dow Jones. The other major player in the arena, Medtronic ($MDT), has yet to reveal its Q1 numbers.

But all may not be doom and gloom for the CRM arena. GBI Research recently concluded that poor health choices could drive expanding demand for CRM devices. GBI values the CRM devices market at $11.3 billion as of 2010, but it could hit $15.7 billion by 2017.

Despite the CRM fall off, Boston Sci did see growth in its endoscopy, peripheral interventions and neuromodulation units (5%, 8% and 8%, respectively).

Baxter International ($BAX) also discussed its quarterly financials today, reporting net income of $588 million, up 3% versus last year's $570 million. Its medical products unit saw a strong quarter with more than $1.9 billion in sales, an increase of 3%. The company saw growth in anesthesia products and certain injectable and nutritional therapies. The earnings were better than expected, Reuters notes.

- check out Boston Sci's release
- see Baxter's release
- read the Dow Jones story
- get the piece from Reuters

ALSO: Baxter International plans to open a manufacturing plant on Atlanta's Eastside--a move that could mean the addition of 1,500 jobs. Report