Isotope maker Nordion's profit jumps on sale of unit

Thu Sep 5, 2013 12:02pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Nordion Inc, a provider of isotopes used in medical imaging, reported a big jump in quarterly profit on Thursday after recording an after-tax gain of about $182 million on the sale of its targeted therapies business.

The Canadian company's results beat market expectations and its shares climbed 1.8 percent to C$8.39 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Nordion completed the $200-million sale of its targeted therapies division to British health care company BTG Plc in July. The business's sole product was the liver cancer therapy TheraSphere.

Nordion Chief Executive Steve West said the company will retain the net cash proceeds of $190 million from the sale. He said the company had rejected distributing the cash to shareholders because of the tax implications. Nordion is also awaiting the completion a strategic review of its operations, which might set spending priorities.

West said Nordion has no current plans for the cash, after analysts asked on a conference call if the strategic review could result in acquisitions.

Net profit rose to $180.4 million, or $2.91 per share, in the company's third quarter from $12.3 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Nordion's profit fell 19 percent to $12.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in the quarter.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $71.7 million.

Analysts were expecting Nordion to earn 18 cents a share, on revenue of $61.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.   Continued...