Thoratec ( THOR) Company Profile: Thoratec is a medical-device maker. Closing Price: $37.65 (Sept. 17) One-Year Stock Performance: 24% Wassung's Take: "I found myself looking into critical cardiac care. Thoratec makes left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), which are essentially an implantable heart pump that assists someone who has heart failure. People waiting for a heart transplant don't have a lot of options while they're on that waiting list, and sadly some of those patients won't get a transplant. "Thoratec has a fully approved alternative solution that gives heart failure patients a very good quality of life. It's not the easiest industry to understand, but they're the only company with destination therapy (DT) approval, which means patients on the waiting list can use their pumps as a bridge to get them to the transplants. The survival data has been excellent. It could be a permanent solution for people who have major challenges. It's a need that no one else is serving with a market that is rapidly expanding." Analyst Consensus: Thirteen of 18 analysts who cover Thoratec have a "buy" rating on the stock. Another four analysts say investors should hold the shares, while one analyst has a "sell" rating on the medical-device company.