We caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual results may differ materially. We also alert you to the risks contained in the documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as our annual and quarterly reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q. We do not undertake any obligation to update or correct any forward-looking statements. Gary?
Gerhard F. Burbach
Thank you, Taylor, and good afternoon. 2011 was another exciting year for Thoratec including solid financial performance, continued development of the market for mechanical circulatory support, the acquisition of the CentriMag and PediMag franchise from Levitronix, and important advances in our broad product pipeline.
Our fourth quarter performance reflects strong momentum for the company as we enter 2012, and strategically, I’m very pleased with the company’s positioning for this year and beyond.With HeartMate II, CentriMag and PVAD, Thoratec offers proven market leading solutions for the full range of mechanical circulatory support needs. In the coming years, we are planning to aggressively grow the market with these flagship products, while at the same time supplementing our core product portfolio with potential breakthrough technological advances, such as our fully magnetically levitated HeartMate III pump platform, our fully implantable LVAD system, and our percutaneous heart pump. Supporting all of these efforts is the dedicated team at Thoratec in which we’ve been investing heavily, and which we believe provides an unrivaled foundation to serve and support the broader mechanical circulatory support market. I’m proud of the Thoratec’s success in 2011, but I’m even more enthusiastic about the opportunity ahead as we seek to continue to penetrate the large addressable population of heart failure patients, advance new technologies and extend our market leadership position. On today’s call, I’ll provide highlights of the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011. And in the process, provide some additional operating metrics for our business. I’ll then focus on our key initiatives and outlook for 2012.