Feb 1 St. Jude Medical Inc, frustrated
by regulatory and product issues last year, vowed that it would
meet or exceed its 2013 earnings forecast, even though it does
not expect much of a recovery in the medical technology market.
The medical device maker disappointed investors last year
with a performance undermined by weak demand for its products
and concerns about problems with one of its leads, the wires
used with implantable defibrillators.
Chief Executive Dan Starks acknowledged that St. Jude was
too aggressive in its outlook for 2012 and characterized this
year's outlook as "conservative." Last month it forecast 2013
earnings of $3.68 to $3.73 per share, which was above Wall
Starks said the 2013 outlook assumes continued pressure on
its lead business and assumes that markets for its medical
devices will not recover this year.
Starks, speaking to analysts at the company's annual
investor meeting in New York, said management is determined to
meet its earnings forecast for this year.
"In our minds, we fully expect ... to meet or exceed this
(earnings per share) guidance. This is not what we're worried
about this year," he told the meeting, which was webcast.
"The challenge for us is to accelerate sales growth," he
A restructuring begun in 2011 and still under way -
involving job cuts, moving manufacturing facilities and
consolidating business units - will generate $150 million of
savings between 2011 and 2013, he said.
The restructuring and other initiatives will boost earnings
by 37 cents per share this year, and a $1.3 billion share
buyback program will add 36 cents, he said.
These benefits will offset the impact of a new medical
device tax, which is estimated at $60 million for 2013, Starks
The company also expects its business to get a big boost
from more than 20 new product launches slated for 2013.
St. Jude declined to provide an outlook for 2014.
The company's shares were up 1.6 percent to $41.34 in
afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.