Baxter Executives Provide Update on Progress at Annual Shareholder Meeting
DEERFIELD, Ill., May 01, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At its Annual Meeting of Shareholders held today in Chicago, Baxter International Inc. executives reported on the progress that the company has made over the last three years to rebuild the company's financial position and optimize its business portfolio. Baxter's executives also spoke about the next phase in the company's strategy, focusing on increased investment in research and development and accelerated revenue growth.
Optimization of current products and geographic expansion have been the primary drivers of Baxter's growth acceleration and margin improvement over the last few years. Moving forward, the company sees significant opportunities to further augment its growth through product innovation and business development activities.
"We're committed to renewing a culture of innovation and re-establishing Baxter as a company known for its pioneering innovations in healthcare. Innovation is at the core of what we do," said Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., chairman, chief executive officer and president.
Baxter increased its investment in research and development by 15 percent in 2006, and has committed to sustain double-digit annual increases over its long-range plan. The company also is accelerating business development activities throughout the company, with new organizational resources being put into place.
Shareholders Approve Company Proposals
Baxter shareholders approved all proposals presented at the meeting. Four members of the company's board of directors, Blake E. Devitt, John D. Forsyth, Gail D. Fosler and Carole J. Shapazian, were each re-elected for a term of three years. Shareholders also ratified the appointment of PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent registered public accounting firm for Baxter, and approved Baxter's 2007 Incentive Plan.
Board Declares Dividend
Separately, Baxter's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.1675 per share of Baxter common stock. This payment represents a continuation of the current rate. Earlier this year, Baxter instituted a quarterly schedule for payment of dividends and increased the annual dividend rate by 15 percent for 2007. This quarterly dividend is payable on July 2, 2007 to shareholders of record as of June 10, 2007.
Alonso Elected Corporate Officer
Carlos Alonso, president, Latin America, was elected as a corporate officer of the company. Alonso assumed responsibility for Baxter's Latin American region in 2006, after having served as general manager of Baxter's operations in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists healthcare professionals and their patients with the treatment of complex medical conditions, including hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other conditions. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients' lives.
This release includes forward-looking statements, including statements concerning future investments and growth. The statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including the following, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: continued strength in the company's financial position, including cash flows; continued demand for new and existing company products; the availability of opportunities for cost-effective investment; product development risks; and other risks identified in the company's most recent filing on Form 10-K and other SEC filings, all of which are available on the company's website. The company does not undertake to update its forward- looking statements.
CONTACT: Media, Deborah Spak, +1-847-948-2349, or Tom Kline,+1-847-948-2251, or Investors, Mary Kay Ladone, +1-847-948-3371, or ClareTrachtman, +1-847-948-3085, all of Baxter International Inc.
Web site: http://www.baxter.com/
Ticker Symbol: (NYSE:BAX)
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Posted: May 2007