On Mar 25, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
St. Jude Medical Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) from a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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Why the Upgrade?
This global medical device company has been witnessing rising
earning estimates over the last one month on the back of strong
fourth-quarter 2013 results, released on Jan 22. Most recently,
St. Jude Medical has been riding on a wave of global launches as
well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CE Mark
approvals for its new products.
On Mar 24, St. Jude Medical announced the global launch of its
Optisure Defibrillation Lead, an addition to the company's
existing high-voltage product portfolio. The Optisure lead has
been approved by the FDA, European CE Mark, Health Canada,
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia and the
Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW).
On the same day, the company announced FDA approvals of its new
pacemakers - the Allure Quadra Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
pacemaker, the Assurity pacemaker and Endurity pacemaker families
of devices. St. Jude Medical intends to launch these products in
the U.S. by the end of first-quarter 2014.
The company also announced its receipt of CE Mark Approval and
the subsequent European launch of its Prodigy Chronic Pain System
with Burst Technology on Mar 20.
St. Jude Medical's fourth-quarter results topped estimates on
both fronts. While adjusted net earnings per share grew 7.6% to
99 cents, revenues improved 3.6% to $1,422 million for the
quarter. Both earnings and revenues exceeded the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by 3 cents and $41 million, respectively.
Over the last 30 days, St. Jude Medical saw one upward estimate
revision for fiscal 2014 with no downward revision over the same
time frame. The Zacks Consensus Estimate, however, remained flat
at its current level of $3.98. The company delivered positive
earnings surprises in all of the last four quarters with an
average beat of 2.1%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other stocks worth considering in the medical products
Baxter International Inc.
). While Enzymotec enjoys a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both
Baxter International and Covidien hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).