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Merit Medical Announces Sales And Earnings Guidance For 2014

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah, March 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:MMSI), a leading manufacturer and marketer of proprietary disposable devices used primarily in cardiology, radiology and endoscopy, today announced that it estimates sales for the full year 2014 in a range of $488.0 to $498.0 million. Merit also estimates earnings on a non-GAAP basis in a range of $0.74 to $0.78 per share and earnings on a GAAP basis in a range of $0.53 to $0.57 per share.

Management expects revenue growth will be driven primarily by the introduction of new products, expansion from distributors to direct sales, and increased sales of embolic products as a result of recent regulatory approvals in Asia.

Management believes new product introductions such as the Prelude® Ease Hydrophilic Radial Sheath, which is complemented by the Rad Board®, Rad Rest® and the SAFEGUARD® Radial Compression Device, will help drive Merit's Think Radial™ program. Management also believes other new products such as the ConcierGE® Guiding Catheter, the SureCross® Catheter, the ASAP® LP Aspiration Catheter and Worley™ Coronary Sinus Guide will generate sales force focus and customer interest. The introduction in China and Japan of Merit's embolic products, Embosphere® and Hepasphere®, which were approved in late 2013, are exceeding management's initial expectations. Costs related to product launches, such as sales training, samples, and scale-up costs are expected to primarily affect the early quarters of 2014.

Although Merit expects to increase its GAAP and non-GAAP earnings numbers in 2014 as compared to 2013, management anticipates that several factors may impact Merit's 2014 financial performance.

Management's goal is to increase gross margin by approximately 140 basis points in 2014. Merit anticipates that during a portion of the year, SG&A expense will be negatively affected by the transition from Merit's facility in Angleton, Texas, to its new facility in Pearland, Texas. The move is scheduled to commence in March and be completed in September. During the first months of this transition, Merit will carry a large portion of this in SG&A expense and will transition to cost of sales as the project is completed. Management believes this transition plan will enable Merit to maintain delivery schedules to customers while providing a state-of-the-art facility for future growth and development and mitigating the challenges of an aging facility and weather-related risks.

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