Hospira shares fall after FDA expands import ban

Hospira shares fall after FDA expands import ban

February 15th, 2013 // 4:40 pm @

Shares of Hospira Inc. plunged by 8% Thursday after the maker of intravenous pumps said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had expanded an import ban on several of its products made in a Costa Rica plant.

Hospira (US:HSP) shares fell $2.60 to $30.05 at the close, a day after the company, which also makes injectable drugs, reported fourth-quarter earnings. Hospira said it now is withdrawing its 2013 financial projections issued with its Wednesday earnings release, adding it could see sales drop by $50 million to $100 million, and adjusted earnings fall by 5 cents to 15 cents a share.

In an 8-K filing issued on Thursday, the company said the FDA had expanded the block on three intravenous pumps manufactured at Hospira’s Costa Rica facility.

The agency had issued an import ban on the company’s Symbiq intravenous pump in November. This directive now includes the Plum, GemStar and LifeCare PCA pumps, also made at the same facility.

“The FDA’s import alert does not restrict importation of the company’s consumables and other infusion pump accessories,” Hospira said in its 8-K filing.

It went on to say: “The company takes this matter seriously. Any further actions by the FDA could have a material adverse impact on our financial position and operating results.”

FDA officials were not available for immediate comment.

Hospira’s electronic pumps are used to regulate medications delivered intravenously. On Wednesday, the company said it expected 2013 adjusted earnings within a range of $2.05 to $2.20 a share. That prompted analysts polled by FactSet to lower their expectations to $2.15 from $2.31 a share.

The company had said it expected 2013 sales to increase by roughly 1% to 3%, but that could be wiped out if the import ban continues throughout the year. With 2012 sales of $4.09 billion, $100 million in lost revenue amounts to 2.4%.

Elsewhere, drug distribution giant Cardinal Health Inc. (US:CAH) ended the day up more than 1% after it announced it was buying closely held home medical supplier AssuraMed for $2.07 billion. Shares climbed 56 cents to $46 at the close.

The move further broadens the reach of Cardinal, which already has $108 billion in annual sales. AssuraMed reported 2012 sales of roughly $1 billion. Cardinal expects the purchase to be accretive to 2013 earnings by 2 cents to 3 cents a share, and 18 cents in 2014.

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