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Healthcare

UPDATE 2-Boston Scientific profit up, shares jump

* Q2 adj profit of 20 cts/share beats analysts’ estimate

* Shares rise nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading

(Adds earnings details, analyst comments)

CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) - Boston Scientific Corp BSX.N said on Monday its quarterly net earnings rose 61 percent, topping expectations, on strong demand for its heart devices, sending its shares up 7 percent in after-hours trading.

Both of the medical device maker’s key cardiac products -- stents to treat clogged arteries and implanted defibrillators to correct racing heartbeats -- posted solid results.

“They’re defending their drug-eluting stent franchise and they’re getting their cardiac rhythm management businesses back to growth, and that’s pretty much what they promised and what they delivered,” said Jeff Jonas, a healthcare analyst with Gabelli & Co.

Medical device makers that make products to treat life- threatening conditions such as heart disease have weathered the recession fairly well and analysts believe Boston Scientific has been taking market share in implantable cardioverter defibrillators from rival Medtronic Inc MDT.N.

“We were expecting strong ICD sales and we got them. We expected their share to be maintained in the drug-eluting stent business and it was. There is continued positive momentum with this company, no question about it,” said Tim Nelson, a healthcare analyst with First American Funds.

Boston Scientific said its second-quarter net income rose to $158 million, or 10 cents a share, from $98 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding special items, the Natick, Massachusetts-based company said it earned $297 million, or 20 cents a share.

Analysts on average expected earnings before items of 14 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Second-quarter net sales increased 7 percent to $2.074 billion, excluding the impact of currency translation.

“We delivered sales and earnings at the high end of our guidance range with almost all businesses and regions reporting solid results,” Ray Elliott, who this month replaced James Tobin as Boston Scientific’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Worldwide sales of the company’s cardiac rhythm management products, which include ICDs and pacemakers, rose to $609 million in the second quarter from $578 million in the same period a year ago.

Drug-eluting stent sales rose to $441 million from $382 million a year ago. Boston Scientific said it maintained its leadership position in stents, with 50 percent of the U.S. market, where it competes against Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N and newer rivals Medtronic and Abbott Laboratories ABT.N.

“They continue to put on a show on the stent side of the business. They’re holding share very well,” said Christopher Warren, an analyst for Caris & Co.

Boston Scientific narrowed its full-year earnings and sales estimates, saying it now expects net income per share of between 47 cents and 53 cents on net sales of between $8.1 billion and $8.4 billion.

Boston Scientific shares rose 6.8 percent to $11 after- hours from a close of $10.30 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago and Bill Berkrot in New York; editing by Andre Grenon)

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