GAAP Net Income Up 83% Non-GAAP Net Income Up 47% Merit's PreludeSnap™ Splittable Sheath Introducer Receives 510(k) Clearance Cash Flow From Operations Improved To $19.3 Million From $8.0 Million

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah, April 23, 2015 (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 sales of $129.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, an increase of 9% over sales of $119.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. On a constant currency basis, sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 would have been up 11%.

Merit's non-GAAP net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $7.9 million, up 47%, or $0.18 per share, compared to net income of $5.4 million, or $0.12 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. Merit's GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2015 was $5.2 million, up 83%, or $0.12 per share, compared to net income of $2.8 million, or $0.07 per share, for the first quarter of 2014.

For the first quarter of 2015, compared to the first quarter of 2014, catheter sales grew 17%; Endotek sales increased 11%; custom kit and tray sales rose 10%; BioSphere sales grew 9%; inflation device sales increased 8%; stand-alone device sales rose 7%; and Malvern sales fell 10%.

Non-GAAP gross margin was 44.9% of sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to 46.0% of sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. GAAP gross margin for the first quarter of 2015 was 42.7% of sales, compared to 43.6% of sales for the first quarter of 2014. The decrease in gross margin for the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014 was primarily related to higher average fixed overhead unit costs resulting from lower production volumes and sales discounts provided to various international distributors in an effort to counter devaluation against the U.S. Dollar, both of which were partially offset by a favorable decline in Merit's manufacturing operating costs and raw materials denominated in Euros as the U.S. Dollar strengthened against the Euro during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the comparable period of 2014.

Non-GAAP income from operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $12.8 million, or 9.9% of sales, up 24% compared to $10.3 million, or 8.7% of sales, for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. GAAP income from operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $8.7 million, or 6.7% of sales, up 34% compared to $6.5 million, or 5.4% of sales, for the first quarter of 2014. The increase in income from operations was primarily attributable to higher sales and leverage from lower operating expenses as a percentage of sales.

"The results continue to show our improvement and are ahead of our internal projections for the year," said Fred P. Lampropoulos, Merit's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This quarter is a great start to our three-year plan."

"Despite various issues such as geopolitical tensions and currency fluctuations, our business continues to move forward," Lampropoulos said. "As the year moves on, we expect improvement in gross margin and profit as our new product introductions and customer programs gain traction. Although our Malvern revenues were lower in the first quarter of 2015 than in the first quarter of 2014, we are pleased with the FDA's 510(k) clearance of the PreludeSnap™, which we expect to launch next month. Our trials and testimonials for this product in Europe indicate that it will improve our market leadership in vascular access products and demonstrate the 'Meritization' of our Malvern facility as well as our tradition of continuous improvement and innovation."

"Our plans are on schedule for our new facility in Mexico, with production anticipated to begin in the third quarter," Lampropoulos continued. "We have also completed our logistics and customer service facilities in the Netherlands, which are designed to assist in our growth in Europe, the Middle East and Asia."

"Marty Stephens, who served in various capacities over 11 years at Merit and most recently as Executive Vice President of U.S. Sales, recently retired," Lampropoulos added. "We would like to thank him for his service and contributions to the company. Monroe May, a 13-year Merit veteran, has assumed leadership of the U.S. sales team. May is a former Merit Salesperson of the Year and a two-time Merit Regional Manager of the Year. He has been leading more than 100 personnel in Merit's cardiovascular division, which produced 7% growth in the first quarter of 2015."

Non-GAAP selling, general and administrative expense for the first quarter of 2015 was 27.5% of sales, compared to 30.0% of sales for the first quarter of 2014. GAAP SG&A expense for the first quarter of 2015 was 28.5% of sales, compared to 30.9% of sales for the first quarter of 2014. The decrease in SG&A expense as a percentage of sales was primarily related to increased sales as well as a $1.4 million decrease in Merit's Euro-based SG&A expense due to the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar against the Euro during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the comparable period of 2014.  

GAAP and non-GAAP research and development expense was 7.5% of sales for the first quarter of 2015, compared to 7.4% of sales for the first quarter of 2014. 

GAAP other expense, which consists primarily of interest expense, was approximately $1.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to $2.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. This significant decrease in interest expense was primarily the result of a lower average outstanding debt balance and a lower interest rate for the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Long-term debt was reduced by $11.6 million in the first quarter of 2015 to $212.9 million. Merit's debt to EBITDA ratio decreased to 2.62 on March 31, 2015, down from 3.24 on September 30, 2014 and 2.86 on December 31, 2014.

Merit's effective tax rate for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was 30.7%, compared to 27.4% for the comparable period of 2014. The increase in the effective income tax rate was due primarily to the increased profit of Merit's U.S. operations, which are generally taxed at a higher rate than Merit's foreign operations.

CONFERENCE CALL

Merit will hold its investor conference call today (Thursday, April 23, 2015) at 5:00 p.m. Eastern (4:00 p.m. Central, 3:00 p.m. Mountain, and 2:00 p.m. Pacific). The domestic telephone number to call is (888) 461-2024, and the international number is (719) 457-1512. A live webcast will also be available for the conference call at www.merit.com.
     
     
BALANCE SHEET    
(In thousands)    
  March 31, December 31,
  2015 2014
  (Unaudited)  
ASSETS    
Current Assets    
Cash and cash equivalents  $ 9,908   $ 7,355 
Trade receivables, net  70,499   72,717 
Employee receivables  174   173 
Other receivables  5,799   7,507 
Inventories  88,256   91,773 
Prepaid expenses   4,999   5,012 
Prepaid income taxes  1,221   1,273 
Deferred income tax assets  6,369   6,375 
Income tax refunds receivable  685   155 
Total Current Assets  187,910   192,340 
     
Property and equipment, net  245,155   244,171 
Intangibles, net  106,891   110,308 
Goodwill  184,405   184,464 
Deferred income tax assets  9   9 
Other assets  15,654   15,873 
Total Assets  $ 740,024   $ 747,165 
     
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY    
Current Liabilities    
Trade payables  24,525   29,810 
Accrued expenses  34,502   33,826 
Current portion of long-term debt  10,000   10,000 
Advances from employees  761   381 
Income taxes payable  1,953   1,413 
Total Current Liabilities  71,741   75,430 
     
     
Deferred income tax liabilities  6,082   6,385 
Liabilities related to unrecognized tax benefits  1,353   1,353 
Deferred compensation payable  9,108   8,635 
Deferred credits  2,849   2,891 
Long-term debt  202,878   214,490 
Other long-term obligation  3,313   2,722 
Total Liabilities  297,324   311,906 
     
Stockholders' Equity    
Common stock  192,730   187,709 
Retained earnings  255,136   249,962 
Accumulated other comprehensive income   (5,166)  (2,412)
Total stockholders' equity  442,700   435,259 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity  $ 740,024   $ 747,165 
 
 
INCOME STATEMENT
(Unaudited, in thousands except per share amounts)
   
  Three Months Ended
  March 31,
  2015 2014
     
SALES  $ 129,577   $ 119,236 
     
COST OF SALES  74,194   67,193 
     
GROSS PROFIT  55,383   52,043 
     
OPERATING EXPENSES    
Selling, general and administrative  36,885   36,763 
Research and development  9,672   8,780 
Contingent consideration  122   11 
Total  46,679   45,554 
     
INCOME FROM OPERATIONS  8,704   6,489 
     
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)    
Interest income  53   67 
Interest (expense)  (1,574)  (2,606)
Other income (expense)  280   (64)
Total other (expense) - net  (1,241)  (2,603)
     
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES  7,463   3,886 
     
INCOME TAX EXPENSE  2,289   1,063 
     
NET INCOME  $ 5,174   $ 2,823 
     
EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE-    
Basic  $ 0.12   $ 0.07 
     
Diluted  $ 0.12   $ 0.07 
     
AVERAGE COMMON SHARES-    
Basic  43,703   42,865 
     
Diluted  44,145   43,234 

Although Merit's financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles which are generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), Merit's management believes that certain non-GAAP financial measures provide investors with useful information regarding the underlying business trends and performance of Merit's ongoing operations and can be useful for period-over-period comparisons of such operations. The following table sets forth supplemental financial data and corresponding reconciliations to GAAP financial statements for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2015 and 2014. Readers should consider these non-GAAP measures in addition to, not as a substitute for, financial reporting measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures exclude some, but not all, items that affect Merit's net income. Additionally, these calculations may not be comparable with similarly titled measures of other companies.
 
MERIT MEDICAL SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS - NON-GAAP
FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2015 AND 2014 (Unaudited)
     
     
  Three Months Ended
  March 31, 
  2015 2014
Non-GAAP ADJUSTMENTS     
GAAP net income   $ 5,174  $ 2,823
     
Acquisition costs --  30
Severance  330  82
Amortization of long-term debt issuance costs  247  247
Long-term asset impairment charges (a)  14  34
Amortization of intangible assets    
Cost of sales  2,771  2,737
SG&A expenses  878  957
 FV adjustment to contingent consideration (b)  122  11
Income tax effect of reconciling items (c)   (1,658)  (1,557)
     
Non-GAAP net income   $ 7,878  $ 5,364
     
Non-GAAP net income per share  $ 0.18  $ 0.12
     
Diluted shares used to compute Non-GAAP net income per share  44,145  43,234

Merit's non-GAAP income, after giving effect to the adjustments referenced in the preceding table, does not reflect stock-based compensation expense of approximately $520,000 and $339,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

(a) Amounts represent abandoned patents.

(b) Represents changes in the fair value of contingent consideration liabilities for recent acquisitions.

(c) Reflects an estimated annual effective tax rate of 38% on a non-GAAP basis.

ABOUT MERIT

Founded in 1987, Merit Medical Systems, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and distribution of proprietary disposable medical devices used in interventional and diagnostic procedures, particularly in cardiology, radiology and endoscopy. Merit serves client hospitals worldwide with a domestic and international sales force totaling approximately 200 individuals. Merit employs approximately 3,100 people worldwide with facilities in South Jordan, Utah; Pearland, Texas; Richmond, Virginia; Malvern, Pennsylvania; Maastricht and Venlo, The Netherlands; Paris, France; Galway, Ireland; Beijing, China; and Rockland, Massachusetts.

Statements contained in this release which are not purely historical, including, without limitation, statements regarding Merit's forecasted revenues, net income, financial results or anticipated acquisitions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Merit's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. Such risks and uncertainties include risks relating to Merit's potential inability to successfully manage growth through acquisitions, including the inability to commercialize technology acquired through completed, proposed or future transactions; product recalls and product liability claims; expenditures relating to research, development, testing and regulatory approval or clearance of Merit's products and risks that such products may not be developed successfully or approved for commercial use; greater governmental scrutiny and regulation of the medical device industry; reforms to the 510(k) process administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; compliance with governmental regulations and administrative procedures; potential restrictions on Merit's liquidity or its ability to operate its business in compliance with its current debt agreements; possible infringement of Merit's technology or the assertion that Merit's technology infringes the rights of other parties; the potential of fines, penalties or other adverse consequences if Merit's employees or agents violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other laws and regulations; laws targeting fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry; potential for significant adverse changes in, or failure to comply with, governing regulations; the effect of changes in tax laws and regulations in the United States or other countries; increases in the prices of commodity components; negative changes in economic and industry conditions in the United States and other countries; termination or interruption of relationships with Merit's suppliers, or failure of such suppliers to perform; fluctuations in Euro and GBP exchange rates; Merit's need to generate sufficient cash flow to fund its debt obligations, capital expenditures, and ongoing operations; concentration of Merit's revenues among a few products and procedures; development of new products and technology that could render Merit's existing products obsolete; market acceptance of new products; volatility in the market price of Merit's common stock; modification or limitation of governmental or private insurance reimbursement policies; changes in health care markets related to health care reform initiatives; failure to comply with applicable environmental laws; changes in key personnel; work stoppage or transportation risks; uncertainties associated with potential healthcare policy changes which may have a material adverse effect on Merit; introduction of products in a timely fashion; price and product competition; availability of labor and materials; cost increases; fluctuations in and obsolescence of inventory; and other factors referred to in Merit's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and other materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All subsequent forward-looking statements attributable to Merit or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Actual results will likely differ, and may differ materially, from anticipated results. Financial estimates are subject to change and are not intended to be relied upon as predictions of future operating results, and Merit assumes no obligation to update or disclose revisions to those estimates.
CONTACT: Anne-Marie Wright, Vice President, Corporate Communications         Phone: (801) 208-4167         e-mail: awright@merit.com         Fax: (801) 253-1688

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