SonoSite, Inc. (SonoSite) has reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2008. For the year, SonoSite worldwide revenues are estimated to have increased by 19% to about $243 million. For the fourth quarter, SonoSite expects revenues grew 8% to about $70 million compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter.

Changes in foreign currency rates decreased worldwide revenue by an estimated 4% in the fourth quarter and had a favorable impact of 0.6% on the year.

“The M-Turbo® and S Series™ product lines drove a year of record revenue and operating income in 2008,” said Kevin M. Goodwin, SonoSite president and chief executive officer. “We gained operating leverage and expect to achieve an operating margin in 2008 that is toward the upper end of our guidance of 9 -10% as compared to 2.2% in 2007. We are particularly pleased with this accomplishment in light of the difficult US economic environment and its impact on hospital capital spending which we expect will continue into 2009. Customers deferred, but did not cancel, approximately 10% of our forecasted revenue in the fourth quarter.”

Goodwin continued, “At this juncture in the year, given the US hospital capital spending environment and an anticipated foreign currency headwind, we are planning for revenue growth of 5 -10% in 2009 at current exchange rates, with relatively flat revenue growth in the first three quarters. However as a result of the company’s forward planning, by carefully managing costs, yet continuing to invest in product development, market introductions and channel expansion, we are targeting to increase operating income by 10 -20% in 2009. We have the financial resources, products, technology and market leadership to navigate through this environment and position us well for future, long-term growth.”

As previously disclosed, the company has taken a $3 million charge for expenses related to the termination of acquisition talks and severance payments which were included in the company’s 2008 operating margin guidance provided on October 23, 2008. The fourth quarter of 2008 will also include a gain of $15.7 million resulting from the repurchase of $80.3 million of senior convertible notes the company issued in July 2007.