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Analyst: Study Shows New St. Jude Medical (STJ) Wire Problems


11/14/2012 8:27:10 AM

A Jefferies & Co. analyst said Tuesday that a study appears to show new problems with the wires in St. Jude Medical Inc.'s implantable heart devices. THE OPINION: Analyst Ray Denhoy said a study published in the journal Macromolecules suggests that the company's Optim insulation could erode more quickly than physicians expect. Denhoy said he still believes physicians will begin using other companies' products because of increasing concerns about the design and performance of St. Jude's leads, including its Durata wires, which are coated with the Optim material. "The paper is sure to draw criticism for its methods and conclusion, but the publication in a peer-reviewed journal and the potentially damning conclusions lead us to believe it will find an audience," he wrote. Denhoy maintained a "Hold" rating on St. Jude shares and lowered his price target to $34 per share from $40. In recent years St. Jude has withdrawn several types of leads, or wires that are used to attach a defibrillator to a patient's heart, because of concerns the silicone insulation on the wire could erode, increasing the risk of a malfunction.

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