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St. Jude (STJ) Launches PressureWire X After FDA Clearance


Global medical device company, St. Jude Medical, Inc. STJ recently announced that it has launched the PressureWire X Guidewire fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement system following the receipt of the U.S. clearance. This system is the latest in the PressureWire Guidewire series and is designed to offer better shapeability and shape retention for reducing vessel trauma. It also provides better accuracy and simplicity when treating patients during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), especially those with complex anatomies.

A PCI procedure, or coronary angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure designed to open coronary blood flow blockages and restore blood flow to the hearts of patients living with coronary artery disease. PressureWire Guidewire FFR measurements are used by physicians to identify the severity of narrowings in the coronary arteries, which can result in more accurate diagnoses and better treatment decisions.

Headquartered in St. Paul, MN, St. Jude Medical has approximately 18,000 employees worldwide and focuses on five major areas that include heart failure, atrial fibrillation, neuron modulation, traditional cardiac rhythm management and cardiovascular.

St. Jude’s performance in the near term is likely to be dampened by the sluggish Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) market. The downside would stem from pricing pressures, austerity measures and health care reforms in the market. Moreover, lower demand for capital equipment owing to a tough hospital budget environment remains a major headwind for the company.

St. Jude currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are Boston Scientific Corporation BSX, The Cooper Companies Inc. COO and NuVasive, Inc. NUVA. All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Boston Scientific has gained 25.7% year to date, much better than the S&P 500’s 4.3% over the same period. Over the past three months, the company’s earnings estimates for the current year have inched up 0.9% to $1.10 per share.

Cooper has seen eight estimates move higher for the current fiscal over the past 60 days, compared to no downward movement. Accordingly, earnings estimates for the year have moved up by 1.2% to $8.42 per share. The stock recorded a gain of 33.6% year to date.

NuVasive recorded an impressive 31.96% gain over the past one year compared to the S&P 500’s 5.8%. Over the next five years, the stock is expected to see 16.7% earnings growth compared to the industry average of 14.8%.

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