REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) ¿ Surgical systems maker Cardica Inc. on Thursday reported a narrower loss in its fiscal fourth quarter, as research and general expenses decreased.

Cardica said sales of its anastomosis systems, which automate the attachment of blood vessels and grafts during heart bypass surgeries, were slower than expected in the quarter. As a result, it cut costs and in January eliminated 13 jobs.

The company said its lost $3.5 million, or 22 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30. That compares with a $4.8 million loss, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 29 percent to $2 million from $2.8 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 23 cents per share and $2.9 million in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Cardica reported $2.3 million in selling, general and administrative costs, and $1.9 million in research and development costs. Those were down from $3.7 million and $2.7 million, respectively. Cost of product revenue fell to $1.2 million from $1.4 million.

The company posted $1.2 million in product revenue and $815,000 in development revenue, down from $1.6 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

For the full year, Cardica narrowed its loss to $17.2 million, or $1.09 per share, from a loss of $18.2 million, or $1.23 per share. Its revenue rose 31 percent to $9.9 million from $7.6 million. The company recorded $700,000 in restructuring costs in fiscal 2009.

Cardica said it cannot give product revenue guidance for fiscal 2010 because it is changing its cardiac surgery business to a direct sales force, which will be supported by distributors and representatives of manufacturers. It expects a total of $11 million to $13 million in research and development, and sales, general and administrative spending. It also forecast $1 million in stock-based compensation costs.

On average, analysts expect the company to report $15 million in revenue, and lose 70 cents per share.

In aftermarket trading, Cardica stock dropped 55 cents, or 25.9 percent, to $1.57. In the regular session, the shares closed at $2.12.
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