Heart device maker St. Jude Medical raises forecast

Reuters

* Gained share in U.S. for implantable cardioverterdefibrillators - CEO

* Third-quarter profit of 90 cents/shr vs est 89 cents

* Revenue $1.34 bln vs est $1.32 bln

By Vrinda Manocha

Oct 16 (Reuters) - St. Jude Medical raised itsfull-year earnings forecast and said its implantable devicesthat treat irregular heartbeats gained market share in theUnited States.

The company, whose Durata lead wire design was questioned by U.S. health regulators last year, raised its full-yearearnings forecast to $3.72-$3.74 per share from $3.70-$3.73.

St. Jude has gained about one point of market share in theUnited States for its implantable cardioverter defibrillators(ICDs) in the latest reported quarter, Chief Executive DanielStarks said on a post-earnings conference call.

Sales of the devices, which form part of the company's maincardiac rhythm management business, rose 1 percent to $418million. Sales of pacemakers fell 5 percent to $264 million.

"People were looking for continued strength in cardiacrhythm management and there's evidence that the impact of Duratahas bottomed and ICD performance is getting better," PiperJaffray analyst Brooks West told Reuters.

An earlier generation of Durata, called Riata, was recalledin 2011 because the insulation wore away. Leads are wires thatconnect an implantable heart defibrillator to the heart.

The company also forecast full-year revenue of $5.39 billionto $5.47 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of$5.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net earnings attributable to St. Jude rose to $262 million,or 90 cents per share, in the three months to Sept. 28, from$176 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales rose about 1 percent to $1.34 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 89 cents pershare on sales of $1.32 billion.

Shares of the company were flat in morning trade on theNasdaq. They have risen about 53 percent this year to Tuesdayclose.

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