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Bull of the Day

We maintain our recommendation for Thoratec Corp. (THOR) at Outperform. Its earnings per share of $0.44 in the third quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company achieved 27% unit growth for HeartMate II in the third quarter.

Thoratec's competitor HeartWare has gotten approval, in November 2012, from the FDA for its Ventricular Assist System as a bridge to transplantation. However, there is no imminent competitive threat from HeartWare in the DT segment, as its product is not expected to be launched till 2015. We believe that the DT condition will account for the major part of growth in the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) market.

Despite less visibility, Thoratec has expertise in product development. The company continues to do well in overseas markets despite economic turmoil in Europe. We maintain our recommendation on the stock with a price target of $44.00, based on a P/E of 27.5x our 2012 EPS estimate.

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