Despite recalls, CareFusion posts earnings growth in Q4

CareFusion ($CFN) turned a $110 million profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, a 29% boost over 2011 and a strong showing in a quarter fraught with recalls and device security concerns.

The company's revenue jumped by 3% on the quarter to $968 million, and CareFusion cut its selling and administrative expenses by 10%. CareFusion notched 9% sales growth in its medical systems unit--including dispensers, infusiors and respiratory devices--and saw a 7% decline in its smaller procedural solutions business.

Perhaps most encouraging for CareFusion was the quarter's 29% sales spike for respiratory products, a unit that has endured three recalls and a security scare over the past few months. In May, the company recalled some models of its AirLife infant breathing device over potential leakage, and, in the same month, CareFusion recalled its Alaris electronic infusion pump over a power supply issue. In June, the company recalled some EnVe ventilators over leakage concerns and faced an IT scare when a website used to update device software was overrun with malware. 

CareFusion ponied up $7 million in recall charges during the quarter, CFO Jim Hinrichs told investors. However, while recalls are impossible to predict, the company is committed to product safety, Hinrichs said.

The company divested its neurodiagnostic business in the quarter, as well, selling the Nicolet unit to Natus Medical for $58 million back in April. That move was designed to help the company streamline its operations and focus on its core business, CEO Kieran Gallahue said in a statement, and the company may look to M&A in the coming years. 

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