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Merit Medical Earnings Guidance For Full Year 2009

Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (Merit Medical), a developer of medical devices for cardiovascular diseases, announced earnings guidance would be in the range of $0.84-$0.86 per share for the year ending December 31, 2009. For the period, Merit Medical's management projects earnings to be in the range of $0.77-$0.79 per share. Merit Medical's management expects revenues for the combined businesses to be in the range of $260-$263 million.

Sales from Merit Medical’s existing business is forecast to be in the range of $248-$251 million for the year ending December 31, 2009. This represents an increase of about 10%, compared to sales of $227.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. In addition, for the calendar year 2010, Merit Medical estimates earnings to be in the range of $0.90-$1.00 per share and revenues in the range of $290-$300 million.

Outlook is provided on the basis of full-year estimates for the existing Merit business and about 10 months’ estimates for business from the Alveolus and Biosearch transactions.

The actual results are subject to the successful closing of both transactions according to Merit’s current expectations within the next 30 days and the risks and uncertainties associated with such transactions. Merit’s guidance and expectations set forth in this release are based on information currently available, and are subject to change as Merit works to complete the proposed transaction and undertakes the operation of the acquired business. Those changes could be material.

Merit’s management estimates revenues from the Alveolus and Biosearch transactions to be about $11.8 million for the 10-month period ending December 31, 2009.

Merit’s management estimates that gross margins for the combined entities will be about 42.6%, an increase of 150 basis points compared to 41.1% for the year ended December 31, 2008.

The new earnings estimates are affected by statement of financial accounting standards No. 141(R) which, effective January 1, 2009, states that expenses of the Alveolus and Biosearch transactions must be expensed during the applicable period, rather than capitalized. Aggregate expenses for the transactions are anticipated to be about $500,000-$600,000.

Additionally, Merit has agreed to pay the current 22 Alveolus employees for a period of 90 days following the closing of the transaction. Merit’s management believes this is necessary for an orderly transition. After the 90-day transition period, employment costs will drop by about $100,000 per month.

Merit intends to retain about 11 sales and marketing personnel as well as three engineering and operations personnel. Merit also plans to recruit and hire an additional six sales people during various periods of 2009.