Hologic Posts Profit, Names New CEO

Maker of products to detect breast and cervical cancer posted $34.9 million profit in fourth quarter, and named President and COO Robert Cascella as CEO.

BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) -- Hologic Inc., which makes products to detect breast and cervical cancer, posted a profit for its fiscal fourth quarter in contrast to a loss a year ago.

But its sales fell and it offered guidance for the first quarter and fiscal 2010 that was below analysts' expectations.

The company said it continues to be hurt by reduced and delayed hospital spending on equipment amid the economic slump.

Hologic also said President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Cascella was named CEO last week. He succeeds Jack Cumming, who will remain chairman and a member of the executive management team.

The company said after the markets closed Monday that it earned $34.9 million, or 13 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 26 compared with a loss of $144.4 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago. The prior-year results included nearly $200 million in charges linked to its acquisition of HPV virus test developer Third Wave.

Excluding one-time items, Hologic would have earned 28 cents per share in the latest period -- a penny a share above what analysts surveyed by Thomson Reueters expected.

Revenue fell 9 percent to $402.8 million from $442.5 million, due to fewer sales of Selenia digital mammogram systems. Analysts expected revenue of $398.3 million, on average.

For the fiscal year, Hologic reported a loss of $2.18 billion, or $8.48 per share, compared with a loss of $385.6 million, or $1.57 per share, a year ago. The sharply wider loss was mainly due to a $2.34 billion impairment chanrge linked to a decline in the company's stock price and market capitalization.

Revenue slipped 2 percent to $1.64 billion from $1.67 billion for the full year.

Looking ahead, Hologic forecast first-quarter adjusted profit of 24 cents to 26 cents per share on revenue of about $400 million to $405 million. The guidance reflects increased surgical and diagnostic sales, offset by lower expected Selenia sales. For fiscal 2010, the company is projecting adjusted profit of $1.15 to $1.19 per share on revenue of about $1.625 billion to $1.65 billion.

The guidance falls below what analysts have been expecting. They expected first-quarter earnings of 30 cents per share and sales of $413.9 million, and full-year profit of $1.24 per share on revenue of $1.69 billion.

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