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Baxter: Hurricane’s disruption in Puerto Rico could cost $70 million in 4th quarter

By on October 26, 2017

SAN JUAN – Drug and medical products maker Baxter International says it stands to lose $70 million in revenue during for the fourth quarter after its three facilities in Puerto Rico sustained damages and were left without communications or electricity from the island’s grid after Hurricane Maria.

As a result, the company has reassessed its projections. For full-year 2017, Baxter now expects “sales growth of approximately 4 percent on a reported basis, approximately 4 percent on a constant currency basis, and approximately 4 to 5 percent operationally. Earnings from continuing operations, before special items, are now expected to be $2.40 to $2.43 per diluted share.”

The sign outside Baxter International Inc. in Deerfield, Ill. (George LeClaireDaily Herald via AP)

For the fourth quarter the company now projects “sales growth of 4 to 5 percent on a reported basis, approximately 2 percent on a constant currency basis and 1 to 2 percent operationally. The company expects earnings from continuing operations, before special items, of $0.56 to $0.59 per diluted share.”

In its most recent earnings, Baxter says it remains in limited production. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as it has done with other pharmaceuticals, is allowing the company to import products to the United States from some of its facilities around the world to help ease demand but those actions will not mitigate losses.

Puerto Rico manufacturing, pharma affected by lack of electric power

“The company remains focused on helping ensure patients have continued access to the products and therapies they need. To this end, Baxter has been working with the FDA and has recently been granted regulatory discretion for temporary special importation of certain products from Baxter facilities in Ireland, Australia, Canada and Mexico to help support product supply for the U.S. market. While these actions will help mitigate some of the projected shortfall in supply, they will not be adequate to fully bridge the gap in the fourth quarter,” the company explains in its release.

Still the hospital products giant says it is hopeful “innovation and operational excellence across the organization will deliver positive results” for it’s stakeholders, even as it responds to “extraordinary challenges like the recent natural disasters.”

Puerto Rico hurricane may cause shortage of hospital IV bags

“I’m proud of how our employees continuously step up to make a difference for our patients, healthcare providers, global communities and fellow colleagues,” José E. Almeida, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Despite these setbacks, the company reported that for the third quarter, worldwide sales totaled $2.7 billion, an increase of 6 percent compared with the prior-year period.

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