January 9, 2014 / 4:19 PM / 5 years ago

Isotope supplier Nordion sees better year; shares jump

(Reuters) - Nordion Inc NDN.TONDZ.N, a Canadian supplier of medical isotopes, forecast on Thursday higher revenues for 2014, helping drive its shares up 9 percent.

The Ottawa-based company, which launched a strategic review a year ago, said it expected 2014 revenues to rise 10 percent to 15 percent in its sterilization technologies segment and jump 30 percent to 40 percent from medical isotopes.

The higher revenues are due to factors including delayed shipments of Cobalt-60, an isotope used to sterilize medical devices, carrying into the new year and additional sales volumes of medical isotopes, Chief Executive Steve West said on a conference call.

West said the strategic review is considering all options, including breaking up the company.

Shares climbed 9.3 percent in Toronto to C$10, and added 8.6 percent to reach $9.20 in New York. Such gains would be Nordion’s largest since May 2013.

Nordion is one of the world’s leading producers of molybdenum-99, an isotope used in medical imaging, and it depends on raw material from an ageing Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) facility in Chalk River, Ontario.

The company also reported a quarterly profit versus a year-ago loss, but results still missed Wall Street estimates.

Net earnings were $56.3 million, or 91 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended October 31, compared with the year-earlier loss of $43.5 million, or 70 cents a share, which was partly due to a litigation charge.

Excluding certain items, earnings fell 44 percent to $9.4 million, or 15 cents per share, from $16.8 million, or 27 cents a share.

On that basis, analysts expected earnings of 18 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 31 percent to $51.3 million, slightly below the expected $51.69 million.

($1=$1.09 Canadian)

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Stephen Powell

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