DUBLIN, Ireland ( TheStreet) -- Covidien ( COV) shares jumped several points amid heavy trading Tuesday morning after the medical supplies maker beat quarterly expectations and reaffirmed its 2011 revenue guidance.

Covidien said strengthened demand for its medical devices helped drive results. A lower tax rate, less restructuring-related costs and strong sales of the company's vascular devices and patient monitoring products also helped the company's improved performance in the recent quarter.

Covidien booked a 3.6% increase in quarterly net profits to $427 million, or 86 cents per share, up from year-earlier earnings of $412 million, or 82 cents per share.

Revenue increased 5% to $2.77 billion, from $2.64 billion.

Excluding one-time gains related to inventory and restructuring charges, Covidien said it earned 95 cents per share from continuing operations, up from 84 cents per share in the first fiscal quarter last year.

Top- and bottom-line results beat analysts' consensus call for earnings of $403.1 million, or 81 cents per share, on revenue of $2.73 billion. Analysts typically exclude one-time items when forecasting estimates.

"Solid medical device sales results likely helped by continued strong performance of recent acquisitions more than offset some softness in the medical supplies business," noted Leerink Swann analyst Rick Wise.

Deutsche Bank analysts noted that results at Covidien's medical devices and pharmaceutical units were "very good," and the firm was "not concerned" about weakened performance at its medical supplies division.

Deutsche Bank maintained a buy rating and $56 price target on Covidien shares.

Covidien CEO Richard J. Meelia said "we are off to a very good start in fiscal 2011, with record gross margin, continued solid improvement in operating margin and double-digit EPS growth," adding that "the excellent performance of our largest business segment, Medical Devices, was paced by strong gains in Vascular, Oximetry & Monitoring and Energy products."

Covidien's medical devices unit reported an 11% increase to $1.88 billion, driven by acquisitions, new products and increased volume, partially offset by divestitures.

Its pharmaceuticals segment improved by 8% to sales of $470 million, reflecting the sale of Covidien's U.S. nuclear pharmacies business in the third quarter of 2010, as well as lower sales in specialty pharmaceuticals.

In Covidien's medical supplies arm, first-quarter sales fell 5% to $422 million, attributed to lower sales of SharpSafety and nursing care products, as well as difficult comparisons to year-earlier volume and inventory stocking related to the H1N1 flu vaccines.

"Integration of our 2010 acquisitions -- Aspect, ev3 and Somanetics -- is proceeding as planned, and all three businesses are meeting or exceeding our expectations," Meelia said.

Elsewhere in the healthcare supplies sector, small-cap Angiotech Pharmaceuticals ( ANPI) saw its shares surge 11.1% amid very heavy volume Tuesday, though the gain amounted to less than half a penny with the stock trading around 4.9 cents.

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals said Monday that it and its subsidiaries filed a voluntary petition under the Chapter 15 bankruptcy code as it works to recapitalize.

The proposed recapitalization transaction is expected to eliminate Angiotech's $250 million 7.75% Senior Subordinated Notes and obligations, substantially improving the company's liquidity, credit ratios and financial position.

Boston Scientific ( BSX - Get Report) shares added 0.7% to $7.03 at midday Tuesday ahead of its earnings report, due out after the closing bell.

Analysts are expecting the medical device maker to book earnings of $155.1 million, or 10 cents per share, on revenue of $1.99 billion.

Ahead of the report, Piper Jaffray analysts noted that, "barring a major miss relative to expectations, we think fourth quarter results are largely academic with the focus largely on the company's 2011 outlook. We expect Boston to finish 2010 with proforma Q4 EPS of 17 cents and full year 2010 EPS of 65 cents. We estimate 2011 revenue at $7.71 million, down 1% year-over-year on a reported basis."

The equity research firm maintained a neutral rating and $7 price target on Boston Scientific shares.

C.R. Bard ( BCR) shares fell 0.6% to $93.83 Tuesday.

The Murray Hill, N.J. firm topped fourth-quarter earnings expectations, excluding items, with EPS of $1.54 per share, and booked revenue growth of 6% to $717.1 million, helped by stronger sales of its vascular, oncology and surgical products.

Despite the beat, analysts' enthusiasm seemed muted after C.R. Bard forecast first quarter EPS in line with expectations. The firm's outlook was for earnings in a range of $1.43 to $1.47 per share, while the Street's view was for EPS of $1.45.

CareFusion ( CFN) shares added 3.4% to $26.60 amid heavy trading Tuesday.

The San Diego firm announced the appointment of Kieran T. Gallahue as chairman and CEO, succeeding David L. Schlotterbeck, who recently announced his plans to retire later this month.

Gallahue, 47, most recently served as CEO of ResMed ( RMD), another medical equipment maker.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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