St. Jude 4Q profit falls, expects strong outlook

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St. Jude Medical Inc. reported its net income for the fourth-quarter fell to $120 million, down 4 percent from $125 million a year earlier, MarketWatch reports. The Little Canada-based medical device firm said sales in its core heart-rhythm management business continued to decline.

For the full-year 2012, net earnings were $752 million, according to a news release. That's a drop of nearly 10 percent compared with $826 million in 2011.

“We are particularly pleased with the strong growth of our atrial fibrillation business, our ability to maintain share in the global ICD market and exceeding prior earnings per share guidance for the quarter," Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Starks said in a statement. "We remain firmly committed to delivering strong EPS growth in 2013 without sacrificing investment in our broad portfolio of pipeline products.”

The Star Tribune reports St. Jude expects revenue from its cardiac rhythm devices to drop below 50 percent in 2013.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially warned St. Jude about manufacturing and quality-control issues at a California plant that makes the controversial Durata defibrillator leads. The company has promised a series of improvement measures.

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