Covidien charges sink Q4 profit
Global healthcare products company Covidien took charges in its fiscal 2009 fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30, that saw profits slide 86 percent compared with the same period last year.

The Dublin, Calif.-based company posted a net profit of $56 million for the period, a steep downturn compared with the $409 million reported for the same quarter last year. Covidien said the drop in profits was partially explained by one-time only tax, legal and environment charges.

On a positive note, fourth-quarter net sales of $2.7 billion were essentially unchanged from a year ago.

Medical devices sales of $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter were 7 percent above the $1.5 billion posted in the comparable quarter a year ago. Pharmaceuticals sales of $637 million were 10 percent down from the $708 million reported in 2008, while medical supplies sales of $433 million were 6 percent below the $462 million posted last year.