Wednesday reaffirmed earnings guidance and said development of its drug-coated stent remains on track.

The Minnesota-based medical-device maker expects revenue of $925 to $965 million and EPS of 63 cents to 68 cents for the quarter. GAAP EPS are also seen at 63 cents to 68 cents. The consensus estimates are for 66 cents a share and $944.6 million, respectively, according to Thomson First Call.

For full-year 2004, Guidant expects revenue of $3.72 to $3.76 billion and EPS of $2.40 to $2.45. GAAP EPS is forecast at $2.03 to $2.08, which includes R&D and restructuring charges totaling 37 cents a share. Analysts expect revenue of $3.74 billion and earnings of $2.42 a share.

For full-year 2005, the company continues to project revenue of $3.9 billion to $4.1 billion and EPS of $2.52 to $2.67. GAAP EPS are seen at $2.29 to $2.54, including charges. The consensus forecasts are $4.03 billion and $2.61 a share, respectively.

Guidant also reiterated that it remains on track with its VISION-E drug eluting-stent program, with "several important milestones scheduled to occur" in the first quarter of the 2005 market. So far, only

Boston Scientific

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Johnson & Johnson

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have approved drug-eluting stents on the U.S. market.

The company cited "continued strength of the worldwide implantable defibrillator market, which has grown 25% through the first three quarters of the year," as the main driver of its business.