BOSTON – Diversified manufacturer Tyco International Ltd. (TYC) Wednesday said quarterly net profit doubled, but its revenue and current-quarter outlook missed Wall Street estimates, sending its shares down nearly 2 percent.
Sales at Tyco's health care business came in below analysts' expectations due to poor demand for its retail products, such as gauze pads and diapers. The segment also took a $277 million charge to settle a patent infringement lawsuit.
"If there is any one negative that was unexpected, it's health care," said John Boland, principal at Maple Capital Management, which holds shares of Tyco.
"Tyco doesn't seem to be executing as it should be," Boland said. "People were looking for an upside surprise, and this is not it."
Tyco, whose products range from hypodermic needles to heat sensors, has undergone an earnings turnaround under Chief Executive Ed Breen. In past quarters, it was strong earnings from health care that underpinned profits.
Recently, however, a sluggish performance has caused some investors to question the progress of Tyco's restructuring. Through Tuesday, the company's shares were down 23 percent year-to-date, compared with a 3 percent decline for the Standard & Poor's industrials index .
For the fourth quarter ended on Sept. 30, Tyco said net income increased to $917 million, or 44 cents per share, from $454 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time charges and gains, earnings totaled 48 cents per share, compared with analysts' estimates of 46 cents.
Revenue was flat at $10 billion, but that excludes $465 million in sales from the plastics and adhesives business, which Tyco plans to sell by year-end and now classifies as a discontinued operation. Sales fell short of Wall Street estimates for $10.6 billion.
For the first quarter, Tyco forecast earnings per share of between 40 cents and 42 cents, including a charge of 2 cents for an accounting change. Analysts on average are expecting 45 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
Tyco, which is based in Bermuda, repeated its earlier forecast for 10 percent growth in earnings per share this fiscal year.
Profit at the health care business fell 46 percent to $338 million, due in part to the charge for the legal dispute.
Tyco took the charge after a court ruled that certain pulse oximetry monitoring devices — machines that measure the concentration of oxygen in the blood — sold by its Nellcor unit infringed three patents.
Health care sales rose 1 percent, far below the 5 percent growth forecast from some analysts.
Earnings in the fourth quarter benefited from a decline in the company's tax rate to 1 percent, based on generally accepted accounting principles, from about 30 percent a year earlier. Tyco said the change stemmed from adjustments made from past tax accounting.