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Global sales boost Acuson in 1994

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Global sales and upgrades are credited for Acuson's return to sales and profit growth in 1994.The Mountain View, CA, ultrasound equipment market leader reporteda 19% increase in sales to $350 million for calendar 1994. Netincome was $18.3 million,

Global sales and upgrades are credited for Acuson's return to sales and profit growth in 1994.The Mountain View, CA, ultrasound equipment market leader reporteda 19% increase in sales to $350 million for calendar 1994. Netincome was $18.3 million, compared to $3.7 million in 1993. Acusonraised R&D spending 21% to nearly $71 million.

Acuson's 1994 showing fell short of sales and income levelsachieved before the bottom fell out of the ultrasound equipmentmarket in 1993. The company reported a profit margin of 5.2% for1994, compared to 10.7% in 1992.

The company's fourth quarter 1994 performance improved butat a slower pace than in 1994 overall. Sales were up 13% to $83million, and net income rose 23% from the same period in 1993.

The financial markets were not impressed by the company's progress,however. Acuson's stock fell 13% to $14.50 a share after the announcementbecause its fourth-quarter earnings were short of analysts' estimatesby 1¢ a share.

Acuson CFO Stephen T. Johnson pointed to sales growth in internationalmarkets and the popularity of Acuson's Acoustic Response Technologyupgrade as keys to last year's growth. About 34% of net salesoriginated from markets outside the U.S. in 1994, compared toroughly 29% in 1993.

The U.S. market continues to be a problem for scanner sales,though Acuson officials stress optimism about long-term prospects.Johnson noted that the domestic market was down sharply in 1993and was probably down again in 1994.

"We did not see resurgence at the end of the year,"he said. "It is really hard to tell when a turnaround mightoccur."

Acuson announced Jan. 30 the installation of the 50th Aegisultrasound image management system. The system was delivered tothe University of Wisconsin in Madison.

A strong fourth quarter helped build a substantial backlogof Aegis orders that will take several months to fill, accordingto COO Robert J. Gallagher.

"In terms of installation capacity, we pretty much havethe first half of 1995 covered," he said.

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