Shares of St. Jude Medical Inc. (STJ) rose marginally following the announcement of receiving the Conformité Européenne (CE) Mark for its FlexAbility Ablation Catheter as well as its first use. The catheter is used by electrophysiologists for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
The FlexAbility catheter combines a flexible catheter tip with a handle and catheter design. It helps in the reduction of complications associated with ablation procedures due to its ability to bend and conform to the cardiac anatomy, lowering the pressure distributed to a patient’s heart while increasing the stability of therapy delivery at the same time.
The catheter has been used for the first time at IdealMed Unidade Hospitalar de Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal and Hôpital Haut-Lévèque in Bordeaux, France.
The CE Mark approval of the FlexAbility catheter boosted St. Jude Medical’s ablation technology portfolio in Europe. In the continent, St. Jude Medical already markets TactiCath catheter since 2012.
TactiCath catheter is helpful in cardiac ablation procedure. It gives physicians a real-time objective measure of the force applied to the heart wall during the procedure.
Very recently, St. Jude Medical posted a 6.25% rise in adjusted net earnings per share to $1.02 for the second quarter of 2014 from 96 cents in the year-ago quarter. With this, the St. Paul, MN-based medical device maker’s earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents and outdid the company’s own guidance of 99 cents to $1.01 for the quarter.
Revenues grew about 3.2% (both in reported and constant-currency) to $1,448 million for the quarter, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,436 million but lied within the company’s own guided range of $1,380 to $1,460 million. Favorable foreign currency translation boosted revenues by roughly $4 million in the second quarter.
For full year 2014, St. Jude Medical upgraded its revenues guidance to the range of $5,640 to $5,760 million from the prior outlook of $5,610 to $5,760 million. The company has also upgraded its adjusted earnings per share guidance to $3.96 to $4.01 from the prior range of $3.95–$4.00. The current Zacks Consensus Estimates for earnings per share and revenues for the year are pegged at $4.00 and $5,712 million.
Currently, St. Jude carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks in the medical products industry that are also worth considering include Hospira Inc. (HSP), Wright Medical Group Inc. (WMGI) and OraSure Technologies, Inc. (OSUR). Both Hospira and Wright Medical Group sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while OraSure Technologies retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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