BioSpace Collaborative

Academic/Biomedical Research
News & Jobs
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Channel Medical Device and Diagnostics Channel Clinical Research Channel BioSpace Collaborative    Job Seekers:  Register | Login          Employers:  Register | Login  

NEWSLETTERS
Free Newsletters
Archive
My Subscriptions

NEWS
News by Subject
News by Disease
News by Date
PLoS
Search News
Post Your News
JoVE

CAREER NETWORK
Job Seeker Login
Most Recent Jobs
Search Jobs
Post Resume
Career Fairs
Career Resources
For Employers

HOTBEDS
Regional News
US & Canada
  Biotech Bay
  Biotech Beach
  Genetown
  Pharm Country
  BioCapital
  BioMidwest
  Bio NC
  BioForest
  Southern Pharm
  BioCanada East
  US Device
Europe
Asia

DIVERSITY

PROFILES
Company Profiles

INTELLIGENCE
Research Store

INDUSTRY EVENTS
Research Events
Post an Event
RESOURCES
Real Estate
Business Opportunities

 News | News By Subject | News by Disease News By Date | Search News
Get Our Industry eNewsletter FREE email:    
   

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: St. Jude Medical (STJ), Medtronic, Inc. (MDT), Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX), Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Corporation


12/2/2011 12:06:08 PM

CHICAGO, Dec. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog includeSt. Jude (NYSE: STJ), Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

A Christmas Gift for the Ailing Heart

Wilson Greatbatch, the self-professed "humble tinkerer" and a trailblazer in medical technology, invented the first implantable cardiac pacemaker in 1958 which kept the rhythm of millions of heartbeats and preserved countless lives across the planet.

A couple of decades later, the first patient received an implantable defibrillator, the brainchild of Dr. Michel Mirowski, in 1980. But that took place decades ago and we have come a long way since then. Medical technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, revolutionizing the way medicine is practiced, in a hi-tech world.

And what is more quintessential in this Faustian quest for good, and even better health, than taking care of the heart? There is a Chinese proverb that goes: "If you keep a green bough in your heart, the singing bird will come."

Heart failure, in a nutshell, is the inability of the heart to pump enough blood. It is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and one leading medical device company, St. Jude (NYSE: STJ), is committed to revolutionize the treatment of patients, with this fatal condition with a ground-breaking device.

CRT An Effective Treatment

As per data from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ("NHLBI"), roughly 5.7 million people are afflicted by heart failure in the U.S. alone. Around 60 million Americans are at high-risk to develop heart failure every year. Needless to say, it is among the leading causes of hospitalization in the nation with roughly 1 million hospitalizations annually. When it comes to economic burden, an estimated $38 billion is spent every year in direct and indirect costs for heart failure.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy ("CRT"), delivered through implantable cardioverter defibrillator ("ICD") or a pacemaker, resynchronizes the beating of the heart's lower chambers that often beat abnormally in patients with heart failure. CRT has been found to be effective in improving the quality of life in many patients with heart failure.

St. Jude's Gift

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has finally cleared the industry's first quadripolar pacing system, representing one of the most significant landmarks in the MedTech firmament in recent times.

The regulator has given its green signal to St. Jude's much-awaited "Unify Quadra" cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator ("CRT-D"), representing a key milestone for the St. Paul, Minnesota-based medical devices major. The device was originally expected to reach the U.S. market in mid-2011, but was eventually delayed to year end due to technical reasons.

The news provided a much needed boost to St. Jude's shares, which jumped $2.75 (or 7.71%) to $38.44 on Wednesday, the highest spurt since March 2010. The company's shares have lost nearly 30% of its value since May 2011, given the current deceleration in the CRM market.

St. Jude said that it will start shipping the first-of-its-kind device shortly. Besides Unify Quadra, the FDA has also approved the company's "Quartet" left ventricular ("LV") pacing lead (flexible wire) which is used by the novel pacing device. The approval came at a time when St. Jude warned physicians that its controversial Riata defibrillator leads have a greater failure rate than reported earlier.

Unify Quadra: A Game Changer?

St. Jude debuted with the so-called quadripolar technology with the launch of "Promote Quadra" CRT-D in Europe in 2010. Promote Quadra coalesces multiple pacing configuration, features and programming options, allowing surgeons to optimize the system at implant to better manage common pacing complications such as phrenic nerve or diaphragmatic stimulation, which can occur in patients implanted with a CRT system.

Phrenic nerve or diaphragmatic stimulation takes place when an electrical output from a CRT device unintentionally activates the diaphragm muscle, resulting in major discomfort for patients. The complication generally occurs due to the location of the LV pacing lead electrode.

Unify Quadra is a small quadripolar pacing system which enables physicians to more effectively manage the pacing needs of patients with heart failure. The LV lead in Unify Quadra contains two additional electrodes (electrical conductor) vis-à-vis the legacy bipolar leads. Unify Quadra landed in Europe in September 2011 and has been well-received in the continent.

Unify Quadra represents an advancement over Promote Quadra, offering all the benefits of quadripolar technology in a device with the smallest footprint in the industry. The narrower shape allows surgeons to implant the device through a minute incision, leading to reduced time in closing the incision and a smaller scar for the patient.

Unify Quadra uses the "Quartet" LV pacing lead, the first lead to feature four pacing electrodes, which can be used in up to ten pacing configurations. This provides surgeons with a greater number of options to place the lead in the most stable position and manage implant complications, resulting in improved patient outcome. Since the surgeon can adjust pacing locations or configurations, the technology has the potential to reduce the need for multiple surgeries.

The Payoff

A still choppy CRM market remains an overhang on St. Jude and its compatriots Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) and Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX). Prevailing macroeconomic conditions, pricing pressure, austerity measures, the impact of healthcare reform and Europe's sovereign debt plight are expected to weigh on the roughly $12 billion CRM market. Implant volume growth has been encumbered by a number of factors including the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into hospitals' implant practices and concerns of overuse.

Raytheon Gets Nod for Missile Upgrade

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has received consent from the U.S. Congressional and State Department for upgrading the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the latest Configuration-3.

In June this year, the company had received a Direct Commercial Sales contract worth $1.7 billion that included ground-system hardware, a full training package, support equipment upgrades and an interoperability capability to support potential coalition operations.

Patriot is the affordable, low-risk and effective air and missile defense system of choice of 12 countries around the globe. It is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense system that counters tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. It is co-manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, a business unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT).

Raytheon is one of the best-positioned companies among the large-cap defense players because of its non-platform-centric focus. Looking forward, the company enjoys strong order bookings and order backlog, an improving balance sheet, growing cash flow, and operational improvements. Future growth will be driven by its focus on ISR unmanned systems, training, cyber security, Standard Missile-6, Patriot, Zumwalt and THAAD.

The positives are, however, offset by apprehensions over future growth of the U.S. defense budget, the fate of high-cost programs, risks related to key project executions and order cancellations. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

In October this year, Raytheon Company reported third-quarter 2011 adjusted earnings of $1.39 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.33. Revenue reported by Raytheon in the quarter under review was $6.13 billion, down 2% from $6.27 billion in the year-ago period and also short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.39 billion.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



Read at BioSpace.com

   

ADD TO DEL.ICIO.US    ADD TO DIGG    ADD TO FURL    ADD TO STUMBLEUPON    ADD TO TECHNORATI FAVORITES
 

//-->