Natus To Close Canadian Plant

Maker of medical devices used for care of newborns said it will restructure its sales force and close a facility in Montreal after a recent acquisition, cutting 50 jobs to lower costs.

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) -- Natus Medical Inc., which makes medical devices used for care of newborns, said Wednesday it will restructure its sales force and close a facility in Montreal after a recent acquisition, cutting 50 jobs to cut costs.

The company acquired Alpine Biomed Holdings in September and said Alpine's sales force will be combined with the Natus sales organization. Alpine operations in Montreal will be moved to Natus facilities in Oakville, Ontario.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in which it disclosed the job cuts, Natus didn't say how large its combined work force would be. The company did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

The restructuring will cost about $2.5 million, but Natus said it will increase its sales by $2 million this year.

The company will take a $2.5 million charge in the first quarter to pay for the restructuring. It said the move will eliminate redundant expenses.

Alpine makes and sells diagnostic devices for neurological disorders, and it has facilities in Denmark, Canada, France, and Germany. Natus said the sales group reorganization will be mostly completed in January, and the transfer of production and development to Oakville will be done in the first half of the year.

Due to the charge and the expected sales gain, Natus cut its 2010 profit forecast to a range of 45 cents to 47 cents per share, from 49 cents to 51 cents per share. Excluding restructuring costs and amortization expenses, the company called for a profit of 60 cents to 62 cents per share.

It said the restructuring will reduce its profit by 5 cent per share while adding a penny per share in savings. The company now expects $198 million in revenue, up from $196 million.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts expect a profit of 54 cents per share, on average, on revenue of $197.2 million. The earnings estimates typically exclude one-time items.

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