Updated from 2:41 p.m. ESTSt. Jude Medical ( STJ) on Wednesday said fourth-quarter earnings narrowly beat Wall Street estimates, thanks to strong growth for its devices that control rapid, dangerous heartbeats. Investors, however, weren't impressed. The stock fell $1.14, or 3%, to $36.80 on volume that was 2.5 times the average daily trading volume. The St. Paul, Minn.-based company earned $124.8 million, or 33 cents a share, on revenue of $610.7 for the three months ended Dec. 31. The results reflect several one-time items. Excluding items, the company earned $123.3 million, or 33 cents a share. The consensus view of analysts polled by Thomson First Call, which excludes items, was a profit of $118.8 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $609.8 million. For the same period in 2003, St. Jude Medical earned $92.3 million, or 25 cents a share, on revenue of $518.6 million. In addition, the company predicted that first-quarter earnings per share in 2005 would be in the range of 33 cents to 35 cents vs. the consensus estimate of 33 cents. The company's fiscal 2005 EPS estimate is in the range of $1.37 to $1.41 compared to a Thomson First Call average of $1.38. And fiscal 2005 sales will be in the range of $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion, the company said. The consensus prediction is $2.69 billion. St. Jude Medical said its first-quarter and full-year guidance excludes the impact of special charges and of new accounting rules, taking effect midyear, for the expensing of stock options. St. Jude's fourth quarter was paced by a 63% increase in sales of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, to $173 million. These are surgically implantable devices that deliver electrical shocks to the heart to control rapid heartbeats. For the full year, ICD sales rose 41% to $584 million from 2003. "We are encouraged by our gain of market share and we are optimistic we are well-positioned for continued success" in the ICD market, said Daniel J. Starks, the company's chairman and CEO.