Hospira

(HSP)

surged 10% Tuesday after first-quarter earnings rose 3.9% from the year-ago period.

The Lake Forest, Ill.-based company earned $80.2 million, or 49 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $77.2 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago. Earnings a share remained flat due to increase in the number of shares outstanding in the current quarter. Adjusted for items, earnings were $101.9 million, or 62 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $80.2 million, or 48 cents a share.

First-quarter revenue rose 0.3% from a year ago to $664.3 million as against analysts' forecast of $650.8 million. Core net sales for the quarter, which exclude sales of Berlex imaging agents, including sales to Abbott and the impact of foreign exchange, grew 10.5%.

The company expects to earn $1.62 a share to $1.67 a share in the full year, on revenue increase of 4% to 6%. Adjusted earnings are expected to be $1.97 a share to $2.02 a share as against analysts' expectation of $1.97 a share.

First-quarter gross income rose 12.4% from a year ago to $244.8 million and gross margin increased 396 basis points to 36.9%. Operating income rose 4.2% to $112 million and operating margin moved up 62 basis points to 16.9%.

The company's shares rose $4.07 to $42.79.

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