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Surgical devices maker Cardica’s second-quarter fiscal 2012 (ended December 31) net loss per share of 12 cents was lower than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss and the year-ago quarter’s loss of 13 cents. Net loss narrowed 4.4% year over year to $3.2 million as lower costs more than offset a decline in sales.

Revenues dipped roughly 23.6% year over year in the quarter to $0.9 million, matching the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Product sales tumbled 25.9% year over year to $0.8 million. The California-based company registered license and development revenues of $84,000 in the second quarter (flat year over year) stemming from its licensing pact with Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Free Report) inked in August 2010.

Consolidated operating costs and expenses fell 11% year over year in the quarter to roughly $4 million. Cost of product sales rose roughly 12.2% to $1.1 million. R&D expenses contracted 24.8% year over year to $1.5 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses, at $1.5 million, fell 7.9% year over year.

The company exited the second quarter with cash and short-term investment of roughly $7.6 million, a 40% year-over-year decline, with long-term debt of $2.4 million. Cardica secured a loan (of $2 million) following the achievement of the first milestone for its Microcutter product line (in September 2011) under its distribution pact with Japan-based Century Medical.

The agreement provides Century Medical with exclusive rights to distribute the Microcutter products in Japan. In exchange, Century Medical agreed to offer Cardica with a loan of up to $4 million. Following the attainment of the second milestone, in November 2011, the company can now draw the remaining $2 million under the loan commitment.

Cardica makes stapling devices for endoscopic and cardiac surgery procedures. Its proprietary technology is designed to reduce operating time and enable minimally-invasive and robot-assisted surgeries.

The company markets its automated anastomosis systems for CABG surgery and has sold over 38,000 units (including 25,000 PAS-Port proximal anastomosis systems) globally. Cardica competes with larger players such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) and Covidien in the laparoscopic stapling and sealing devices market.

Cardica recently suspended enrollment in the European clinical trial for its endoscopic stapling device MicroCutter XPRESS 30 as the device failed to perform satisfactorily in thicker tissue. The MicroCutter XPRESS 30 was initially planned as the first product in the microcutter product line which the company intended to commercialize. Cardica is now prioritizing the development of MicroCutter XCHANGE 30, a cartridge based microcutter device.

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