* Fourth-quarter EPS 92 cents vs est 90 cents
* Expects 2013 EPS of $3.68-$3.73 vs est $3.62
By Debra Sherman
Jan 23 St. Jude Medical Inc forecast
2013 earnings above market estimates after reporting a
better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as it cut costs, and
the company's shares initially fell in early trading Wednesday,
but had trimmed losses by midday.
The medical device maker's shares have gained 6 percent on
the New York Stock Exchange since the company said earlier this
month its earnings would beat forecast.
St. Jude forecast 2013 earnings of $3.68 to $3.73 per share,
above analysts' average estimate of $3.62, according to Thomson
"I'm surprised the stock is down, but previous guidance has
been too aggressive and they've had to cut it, so I think there
may be some concerns there," said Jeff Jonas, a portfolio
manager at Gabelli Health and Wellness Trust, which owns St.
Chief Financial Officer John Heinmiller characterized the
2013 earnings-per-share forecast as conservative, noting the
company will have completed a share buyback program by the end
of the first quarter, so there will be a lower share count.
In addition, the company will have opportunities with new
products in 2013 that it did not have in 2012, he said in a
Chief Executive Dan Starks said on a conference call that he
believes the company gained share in its key market for
implantable heart defibrillators, known as ICDs, during the
fourth quarter and was optimistic that the market would improve
Starks added, however, that market share will be confirmed
when competitors Medtronic Inc and Boston Scientific
Corp report their quarterly results.
"We see a stable market with opportunity for upside," Starks
Fourth-quarter net sales fell about 2.5 percent to $1.37
billion, hurt by unfavorable foreign currency translation.
St. Jude Medical reduced its selling, general and
administrative expenses 18 percent. It also cut research and
development expenses 11 percent.
The heart device maker said on Jan. 9 that its
fourth-quarter profit would exceed its forecast and Wall Street
expectations, aided by cost cuts.
Net income fell to $120 million, or 39 cents per share in
the fourth quarter, from $125 million, or 39 cents per share, a
Excluding one-time items, the company earned 92 cents per
share. Analysts expected a profit of 90 cents per share.