Device Sales Hearten St. Jude

Second-quarter net sales are $724 million, an increase of 30% from a year ago.
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Updated from 8:47 a.m. EDT

St. Jude Medical

(STJ)

beat earnings estimates by 2 cents a share in the latest quarter, reported strong sales growth of its implanted cardiac defibrillator devices and raised its guidance.

Shares rose $2.89, or 6.6%, to $46.64 on the news.

The St. Paul, Minn., company posted net sales of $724 million, an increase of 30% compared with $557 million reported in the second quarter of 2004.

St. Jude said it gained market share in the second quarter, as ICD sales rose to $244 million, a 92% increase from a year ago, and topped its guidance of $210 million to $220 million for the quarter.

Pacemaker sales were $237 million, an increase of 4% from the comparable quarter, outpacing its previous guidance of $217 million to $222 million.

The company earned $101 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $99 million, or 27 cents a share, in the second quarter last year. Earnings were $142 million, or 38 cents a share, excluding charges related to the Velocimed acquisition and expenses for the repatriation of $500 million under the American Jobs Creation Act.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $135.4 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $678.7 million.

St. Jude raised its the third-quarter guidance to 38 cents to 39 cents a share and its full-year guidance to between $1.49 and $1.51. Previously, the company forecast a profit of $1.39 to $1.43 in 2005. Before the company's conference call, analysts expected St. Jude to earn $1.45 a share this year.

For the full year, St. Jude expects pacemaker sales of $880 million to $900 million. The company raised its ICD sales guidance to $960 million to $985 million.

During the conference call, St. Jude executives said they saw little effect from

Guidant's

(GDT)

recent recalls of its implanted defibrillators since most of the recall actions were within the last few weeks of the quarter.

"In the short term, competitors' recalls can have as much negative impact as opportunity," says St. Jude CEO Dan Starks, who described them as "disruptive for business, traumatic for patients and stressful for doctors." Starks also says he sees the Guidant recalls as "bad news for everybody."