NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Every once in a while I am amazed at how some companies apparently can do no wrong, despite a constant stream of negative news. St. Jude Medical (STJ - Get Report) certainly fits this criteria.Although this company has showed extraordinary potential, over the past several months there have been concerns ranging from the company's product pipeline to its competitive positioning.
Given the soft growth that St. Jude has posted over the past couple of quarters, not much was expected in this report. In that regard, there weren't any surprises, either. Though the company missed on both top and bottom lines, when taking into account other reports from within the sector, St. Jude didn't perform that poorly, even with the 3% revenue decline. As is often the case in this sector, there's plenty to sort through. Unfortunately for St. Jude, most of it was underwhelming -- led by the company's cardiac rhythm management (CRM) business, when shed 7% year over year. This was especially disappointing because aside from being one of St. Jude's largest businesses, CRM also shed 5% in the fourth quarter.