Medtronic's weaker-than-expected outlook clouds quarterly results beat

Illustration shows Medtronic Plc logo

By Pratik Jain and Christy Santhosh

(Reuters) -Medtronic beat estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and profit on Thursday, helped by robust sales of its medical devices, but shares declined more than 3% after its forecast for the current quarter fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Investor anticipation around the sales of medical devices has grown lately, as people, especially older adults, returned to hospitals for medical procedures deferred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medtronic's fiscal 2025 adjusted per-share profit forecast of $5.40 to $5.50 came in line with analysts' expectations, but its first-quarter outlook of $1.19 to $1.21 was below LSEG estimates of $1.25.

The company, for which China comprises roughly 7% of the total revenue, said it expects the recently announced U.S. tariff increases on an array of Chinese imports, including medical products, to be short term.

"The Chinese government heavily relies on imported medical devices to serve the patient population," CFO Karen Parkhill told Reuters.

Medtronic has also been facing pricing pressure due to an impact from the Chinese government's volume-based procurement (VBP), under which the country buys medical devices in bulk at a sharp discount.

But Parkhill said the impact of VBP in China is largely behind the company.

Medtronic posted adjusted profit of $1.46 per share for the fourth quarter, compared with analysts' estimate of $1.45 per share.

It, however, expects profit in the first quarter will be hurt 6% due to a stronger dollar.

"The impact from currency lessens through the year, so we expect to be ending the year with high single-digit EPS growth ... in line with our longer-term objective," Parkhill said.

The Dublin-based company reported total revenue of $8.59 billion in the quarter ended April 26, above analysts' estimate of $8.44 billion.

Sales at the company's neuroscience unit, its second largest, rose 5.6% in the quarter, while the diabetes unit posted a 10.9% increase.

However, sales in the company's heart devices unit — its biggest revenue driver — fell 5.2% to $3.13 billion, narrowly missing estimates of $3.14 billion, on soft demand for certain devices used for repair and replacement of heart valves.

(Reporting by Christy Santhosh and Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)