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Tickers in this Article: COV
Covidien is engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings. It operates its businesses through three segments: medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies.

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The Numbers: Covidien plc's EPS outpaced analyst estimates while the company's revenues came in line with predictions. The company reported adjusted net income of $1.02 per share versus the $1 per share estimate and revenues of $3 billion versus the $3.01 billion estimate. Revenue fell 2.5% from the same period last year. Slumping revenue in the last quarter ends Covidien plc's streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Covidien plc reported net income of $461 million during the fourth quarter. This is 2.2% higher than the year-ago quarter.

Management Quote: "We delivered a solid performance in the fourth quarter, finishing 2012 in line with our expectations. Reported results were restrained by the strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies and by the anomaly of an extra selling week in the fourth quarter of 2011," said Jos E. Almeida, Chairman, President and CEO.

A Look Back: Net income has increased 2.7% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the first quarter, when income climbed 15.7% from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company's results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved up from $1.07 a share to $1.08 over the last 60 days. When analyst increase earnings estimates investors can assume business has been stronger than first thought and is an encouraging sign for investors. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $4.27 a share to $4.24 over the last 90 days.

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