* Q3 EPS of 12 cents vs 6 cents estimate
* Q3 sales fall 5 percent to $1.92 billion
* Forecasts Q4 earns excl items of 15 cents to 18 cents
* Shares up 3 percent in post-market trading (Adds earnings details, analyst comments)
CHICAGO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N) on Tuesday posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings as a slump in sales of its medical devices was less than feared, sending the company’s shares up in after-hours trading.
Wall Street’s expectations had been modest, reflecting a broad slowdown in demand for medical procedures as more patients skip doctor visits in the lengthy economic downturn and hospitals push back on pricing.
“Expectations were low. They did well across the board, across the different businesses, despite all the doom and gloom we’ve been hearing about pricing and slow procedure volumes,” said Gabelli & Co healthcare analyst Jeff Jonas.
Boston Scientific said its third-quarter income was $190 million, or 12 cents a share, including restructuring charges and amortization expense. That compares with a loss of $94 million, or 6 cents a share, a year ago, when hefty special items also hurt results.
Analysts had expected the company to earn 6 cents a share in the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales fell 5 percent to $1.92 billion in the quarter, from $2.03 billion a year ago.
The Natick, Massachusetts-based company forecast fourth-quarter net earnings of 5 cents to 9 cents a share, and earnings, excluding charges and amortization expense, of 15 cents to 18 cents a share. It forecast fourth-quarter net sales of between $1.925 billion and $2.0 billion.
In post-market trading, Boston Scientific shares were up 3 percent at $6.15. (Reporting by Susan Kelly; Editing by Bernard Orr)