Thoratec earnings soar, fueled by HeartMate II LVAD sales surge

Thoratec ($THOR) credited a U.S. and global sales surge of its HeartMate II pump as a key factor in boosting 2012 first-quarter revenue 27% versus a year earlier.

As Thoratec stated last month, an FDA Class 1 recall status for the left ventricular assist device doesn't appear to have had any material impact. Regulators issued their most serious recall warning after the company sent clinicians new implant instructions to help address concerns over a connecting part for the device some reported was faulty. (Thoratec had already announced a voluntary medical device correction notification matter in mid-March and said it didn't expect any device returns.)

The Pleasanton, CA-based company said its revenue for the quarter that ended March 31 reached $126.8 million, compared with $99.5 million in the quarter last year. HeartMate-related products alone represented $111.7 million in revenue, up 28% from the $87.3 million Thoratec reported a year earlier. Net income also surged at a healthy clip, reaching $25.5 million, a big jump from $16.5 million a year earlier. The company's acute support products, including its CentriMag ventricular assist system (which only has a humanitarian device exemption in the U.S.), generated $8.7 million in revenues, up from $4.4 million a year earlier.

HeartMate II made an enormous impact on the quarter, Thoratec President and CEO Gary Burbach said in a statement.

"Our HeartMate II performance was broad-based, with unit growth of 32% in both the U.S. and international markets," he said, noting that France and Germany were standouts. In the U.S., the product's destination therapy indication continued to drive much of the growth. A destination therapy post-approval study is ongoing and is set to reach two-year follow-up for patients by this fall, according to the company.

Thoratec said its net income translated to 43 cents per diluted share for the quarter, versus 27 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Executives gave revenue guidance in the range of $452 million to $467 million for the year.

- read the earnings release