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Fresenius Medical beats earnings expectations, keeps outlook; shares sink

FILE PHOTO: Samples of products of Fresenius and Fresenius Medical Care are on display during the company's annual news conference at their head quarters in Bad Homburg

By Bartosz Dabrowski

(Reuters) - Fresenius Medical Care beat first-quarter operating earnings expectations on Tuesday amid higher pricing and cost-cut savings, but the German company still maintained its profit outlook for 2024, sending its shares down in early trading.

Adjusted operating income in the quarter surged 23% to 416 million euros ($448 million), beating the average analyst estimate of 386 million euros posted on the website of the world's biggest dialysis provider.

Still, despite the robust quarter, shares sank 6.9% in early trading after it confirmed its full-year forecast of low- to mid-single-digit percentage growth in revenue and mid- to high-teens-percentage growth in operating income.

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"Despite a strong start, FY guidance was reiterated, which may disappoint some, given recent outperformance of the shares," Jefferies analysts said in a note to investors.

Shares have gained 7.5% since early March after Novo Nordisk's popular diabetes drug Ozempic fell short of some expectations when tested on patients with chronic kidney disease.

Supported by its cost-cutting plan FME25, the firm saved about 52 million euros in the first quarter.

Earnings for FMC, the world's biggest dialysis provider, are recovering after they were hit by slower patient flows due to excess mortality rates during the pandemic.

Adjusted sales rose 4% in the quarter to 4.82 billion euros, exceeding analyst expectations of 4.72 billion euros.

($1 = 0.9290 euros)

(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk, editing by Andrey Sychev, Miranda Murray and Bernadette Baum)