February 8, 2010 / 9:31 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Canada's IMRIS posts Q4 profit, sees strong 2010

* Q4 EPS C$0.01 vs loss C$0.14/shr last year

* Revenue up 247 pct

* Backlog up 32 pct

* Sees higher profit in 2010 (Adds conference call details, analyst’s comments)

By Koustav Samanta and Arnika Thakur

BANGALORE, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s IMRIS Inc IM.TO, which makes magnetic resonance imaging systems, swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, helped by increased system installations and higher pricing, and said it expects strong growth in 2010.

Canaccord Adams analyst Neil Maruoka, who has a “buy” rating on the stock, said he continues to see strong demand for IMRIS’ products and expects the company to be profitable in 2010, despite weak economic environment and constrained hospital budget in the U.S.

“In 2010, our priority will be to focus our marketing and sales resources on three key markets, US, Europe and China. We believe these markets represent our most significant opportunities to grow the business,” the company said on a conference call with analysts.

The company also said it will move forward with its image guiding medical robotics systems, as it believes that represents a “great opportunity” in the longer term.

Net income for the quarter was C$418,000, or 1 Canadian cent a share, compared with a net loss of C$3.8 million, or 14 Canadian cents a share, last year.

Revenue more than tripled to C$19.9 million. Analysts on an average were expecting earnings of 3 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$16.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Backlog rose 32 percent to C$89.4 million as of Dec. 31.

For 2010, the company said it sees conversion of backlog into revenue at a higher rate than historical trends and expects 2010 net income to increase over 2009 levels.

Shares of the company closed at C$6.50 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal, Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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