UPDATE 1-Heart device maker St. Jude Medical raises forecast

Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:44am EDT

* Gained share in U.S. for implantable cardioverter defibrillators - CEO

* Third-quarter profit of 90 cents/shr vs est 89 cents

* Revenue $1.34 bln vs est $1.32 bln

By Vrinda Manocha

Oct 16 (Reuters) - St. Jude Medical raised its full-year earnings forecast and said its implantable devices that treat irregular heartbeats gained market share in the United States.

The company, whose Durata lead wire design was questioned by U.S. health regulators last year, raised its full-year earnings forecast to $3.72-$3.74 per share from $3.70-$3.73.

St. Jude has gained about one point of market share in the United States for its implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in the latest reported quarter, Chief Executive Daniel Starks said on a post-earnings conference call.

Sales of the devices, which form part of the company's main cardiac rhythm management business, rose 1 percent to $418 million. Sales of pacemakers fell 5 percent to $264 million.

"People were looking for continued strength in cardiac rhythm management and there's evidence that the impact of Durata has bottomed and ICD performance is getting better," Piper Jaffray analyst Brooks West told Reuters.

An earlier generation of Durata, called Riata, was recalled in 2011 because the insulation wore away. Leads are wires that connect an implantable heart defibrillator to the heart.

The company also forecast full-year revenue of $5.39 billion to $5.47 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $5.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net earnings attributable to St. Jude rose to $262 million, or 90 cents per share, in the three months to Sept. 28, from $176 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales rose about 1 percent to $1.34 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 89 cents per share on sales of $1.32 billion.

Shares of the company were flat in morning trade on the Nasdaq. They have risen about 53 percent this year to Tuesday close.

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