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plunged 16% late Thursday after warning of a shortfall in implants of its Destination Therapy product.

The Pleasanton, Calif., maker of cardiovascular treatments said Destination Therapy implants through the first two months of the fourth quarter were on a pace to be "roughly equivalent to that of each of the first three quarters of the year."

Thoratec said that stronger-than-expected activity in other areas of its business appears to be helping to offset most or all of the impact of this Destination Therapy implant trend, though. Thoratec cited "positive market response" to implantable ventricular assist device, "encouraging activity" in the use of ventricular assist devices for bridge-to-transplantation, and continued growth at the International Technidyne division.

Destination Therapy implants performed in the first three quarters of 2004 ranged from 34 to 42 per quarter.

The setback comes on the heels of an early-summer warning from Thoratec that weak sales of the Destination Therapy implant would

hurt second-quarter numbers.

Late Thursday, Thorate slid $1.70 to $9.01.