Baxter International said net income for the first quarter ended March 31 rose 3.1% to $131 million, or 47 cents per share, from $127 million, or 45 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Worldwide sales for the Deerfield, Ill.-based hospital supplier increased 7.4% to $2.2 billion. U.S. sales rose 8% to $1.6 billion.
Baxter's first quarter represents a solid improvement over last year's results, when sales growth averaged 4.6% per quarter. Last year, many suppliers said they noted a slowdown in hospital purchases as concerns about costs rose in the face of national healthcare reform.
In 1993, Baxter lost $198 million, or 72 cents per share, on sales of $8.9 billion (Jan. 31, p. 14). It also began a massive, $700 million restructuring. The company plans to sell its $675 million diagnostics manufacturing business as part of that restructuring, and it said last week that it will complete a deal by year's end.
At Baxter's annual shareholder meeting last week in the Chicago area, Vernon R. Loucks Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, was expected to discuss the company's efforts to expand internationally.