ATL Ultrasound had another record year, buoyed by an especially strong fourth quarter. Although its 1997 revenues advanced only 2.9% for the year, the company experienced a 9% revenue increase in the fourth quarter.For the fourth quarter (end-December),
ATL Ultrasound had another record year, buoyed by an especially strong fourth quarter. Although its 1997 revenues advanced only 2.9% for the year, the company experienced a 9% revenue increase in the fourth quarter.
For the fourth quarter (end-December), ATL had revenues of $137.3 million, compared with $125.5 million in 1996. Net income was $18.5 million, compared with $11.6 million last year. Company officials credited shipments of its premium HDI 5000 system as a key factor in the results.
For the year, ATL had revenues of $431.2 million, compared with $419.2 million in 1996. Net income was $21.2 million, compared with a 1996 net loss of $828,000, which included a nonrecurring charge of $29.6 million for patent litigation damages.
In other ATL news, the company announced that it will spin off its Handheld Systems Business division as an independent public company. The deal will result in a tax-free stock dividend to ATL shareholders on a basis of one share in the new company for every three ATL shares.
Pending review by the Securities and Exchange Commission, ATL anticipates the stock distribution will occur in April, and will result in a one-time $1.5 million charge in the first quarter. Kevin Goodwin, who has served as vice president and general manager of the Handheld Systems Business, will become president and CEO of the new company.
Meanwhile, technology developed at the division continues to move closer to commercialization. The division is first developing a device targeted for the women's health market, with future models slated for internal and emergency medicine applications. A prototype is expected to be finished within the next few months, according to ATL. The new company will file a 510(k) application with the Food and Drug Administration within the next month, with a commercial launch anticipated in 1999.