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Medical device major Medtronic Inc. (MDT - Analyst Report) recently expanded its unrivalled portfolio of endovascular aortic repair in the domestic market. The company won the regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Endurant II Aorto-Uni-Iliac (AUI) Stent Graft System. At the same time, Medtronic gained the 510(k) clearance from FDA for its Sentrant Introducer Sheath. Currently, the products are being featured at the Society for Vascular Surgery's "Vascular Annual Meeting" in San Francisco.

In April, Medtronic won the European CE (Conformité Européenne) Mark approval for the Sentrant Introducer Sheath. The company’s effort on portfolio expansion, especially for its mainstay Cardiac & Vascular Group, is encouraging. We are impressed with Medtronic’s efforts to augment/diversify its product range.   

According to the company, this new Sentrant Introducer Sheath will complement its superior portfolio of stent grafts for the endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms and related conditions, thereby expanding Medtronic's accessories toolkit for endovascular aortic interventions.

Specifically, the Sentrant Introducer Sheath will be used together with Medtronic’s Endurant II AAA and Valiant Captivia Stent Graft Systems. It also complements other comparable devices for endovascular repair. This new device will be available in various sizes to adjust to different anatomies.

On the other hand, the Endurant II AUI Stent Graft System is the only AUI device with FDA approval for the elementary endovascular treatment in the U.S. This specifically holds true for the medical care of patients whose anatomy restrains the application of a bifurcated device for the medical care of infrarenal abdominal aortic or aorto-iliac aneurysms.

Like other products in the clinically proven Endurant product line, the new stent graft is effective in treating patients who present with difficult access. The characteristic features of Endurant II AUI Stent Graft go to ensure improved standards of patient care.  

Our View

Following the stronger results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 which topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the stock seems to be on an uptrend. After several quarters of weakness, the company’s CRDM franchise showed signs of improvement. Sales improvement for Medtronic’s neuromodulation and endovascular business was also encouraging. The quarterly results reflect positive momentum as the company looks to rebound after a string of dull quarters.

Nonetheless, looming headwinds such as unfavorable currency impact and macroeconomic overview keeps us on the sidelines. Moreover, Medtronic’s spine sales continued its sluggish trend. The company should also be aware of similar portfolio advancement made by other stalwarts such as Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX - Analyst Report) and St. Jude Medical (STJ - Analyst Report).

Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we have a neutral stance on the company, other stocks in the medical device space such as Conceptus Inc. , carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) warrants a look.

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