St. Jude's Remote Monitoring Doubles Survival Rate - Analyst Blog


St. Jude Medical Inc. ( STJ ) revealed that according to data presented at Late Breaking Clinical Trial Session during Heart Rhythm 2014 - the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions, patients adhering to St. Jude Medical Merlin Remote Monitoring System had more than twice (2.4x) the probability of survival than that of patients without remote monitoring.

Shares of St. Jude Medical rose 0.6% following the announcement of results from the study.

The results were derived from more than 260,000 patients implanted with either pacemakers or defibrillators. The observational study showed that greater adherence to remote monitoring enhances the well-being of patients and reduces mortality.

According to the study, patients with high adherence to remote monitoring had a 58% reduced likelihood of mortality than patients without using remote monitoring and a 35% reduced likelihood of mortality than patients with low remote monitoring. Although the results may vary according to geographic regions, socioeconomic factors were not associated with remote monitoring use.

The adherence to remote monitoring is measured as weekly transmission of patient data from the Merlin Home System to the Patient Care Network at least 75% of the time.

The Merlin Patient Care System supports St. Jude Medical cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers. The system was designed to assist physicians efficiently analyze therapeutic and diagnostic data.

The study included all FDA-approved implantable cardiac devices capable of radiofrequency (RF) remote monitoring by St. Jude Medical. This is the largest study of remote monitoring ever done on pacemaker patients. It is also one of the largest studies for remote monitoring.

St. Jude Medical posted a 4.3% rise in adjusted net earnings per share to 96 cents for the first quarter of 2014 from 92 cents a year-ago. With this, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and met its own guidance of 94 and 96 cents per share for the quarter.

Revenues grew about 2.0% to $1,363 million for the quarter, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,355 million as well as the company's own guided range of 1,280 to $1,360 million. Unfavorable foreign currency translation reduced revenues by roughly $25 million.

For the second quarter of 2014, St. Jude Medical expects revenues in the range of $1,380 to $1,460 million while the company anticipates adjusted net earnings per share to lie between 99 cents and $1.01 for the quarter. The current Zacks Consensus Estimates for earnings per share and revenues for the quarter are pegged at $1.00 and $1,437 million.

For full year 2014, St. Jude Medical upgraded its revenues guidance to the range of $5,610 to $5,760 million from the prior range of $5,600 to $5,750 million. It also upgraded its adjusted earnings per share guidance to $3.95-$4.00 from the prior range of $3.94-$3.99. The current Zacks Consensus Estimates for earnings per share and revenues for the year are pegged at $3.98 and $5,702 million.

Currently, St. Jude retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the medical products industry that are also worth considering include Cardica Inc. ( CRDC ), Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( EGRX ), and Exactech Inc. ( EXAC ). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CRT , RF , CRDC , EGRX , EXAC

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