Baxter International

(BAX) - Get Report

met analysts' fourth-quarter expectations, and the company said the strength of the euro could mean a better 2001.

The medical products maker produced earnings of $270 million, or 90 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, meeting the consensus estimate carried by

First Call/Thomson Financial

. Baxter earned $231 million, or 78 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Fourth-quarter revenue for Baxter rose 9% to $1.93 billion from $1.77 billion last year.

In 2001, Baxter expects to generate a minimum of $500 million in operational cash flow. The company also said "we expect to achieve earnings growth in the low double digits for 2001. However, if the Euro remains at current levels or strengthens further, our sales and earnings growth in 2001 will be stronger." Analysts expect Baxter to earn $3.40 a share in 2001, up from $3.06 this year.

In morning trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

, Baxter gained 69 cents, or 0.8%, to $84.