ConMed reports quarter gains

ConMed Corp. reported gains in revenue and profits in the first quarter over the same period a year ago.

However, despite the relatively strong quarter, the Utica-based surgical device and equipment maker has lowered its earnings forecast for the remainder of the year amid concerns over lagging capital-equipment sales.

Sales in the first quarter grew approximately 6 percent to $194.3 million, up from $183.5 million, and net profit jumped 11 percent to nearly $9.968 million, or nearly 35 cents a share, up from $8.995 million, or 31 cents a share.

"ConMed is off to a solid start in 2012 with double-digit earnings growth and a sales increase of approximately 6 percent," said Joseph J. Corasanti, president and CEO. "Both sales and adjusted earnings were within the ranges of our expectations for the quarter."

International sales in the first quarter of 2012 were $98.2 million, representing 50.5 percent of total sales.

Sales of capital products declined 4.5 percent in the quarter while single-use products comprised 79.4 percent of total revenues and grew 9 percent.

"We expect to sustain the momentum from the first quarter and continue to deliver double digit earnings growth for the remainder of 2012," said Corasanti. "However, while we do think the capital equipment business is beginning to stabilize, in light of the relatively soft sales from this product category in the first quarter, we are tightening our adjusted earnings per share guidance for the full year of 2012 by reducing the top end of our previous estimate."

The company now expects adjusted earnings per share for 2012 to be in the range of $1.75 to $1.85, as opposed to its previously issued guidance of $1.75 to $1.88.

Little to no growth of capital-equipment sales is now expected this year because of the weak medical equipment market.