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St. Jude Authorizes Share Repurchase

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St. Jude Medical Inc. revealed that its board of directors authorized a share repurchase worth up to $700 million of its outstanding common stock. The Saint Paul, Minn.-based leading medical device maker last authorized a share repurchase program on Nov 29, 2012.

Under the previous share repurchase program, STJ authorized the repurchase of shares worth up to $1.0 billion and began repurchasing shares on Dec 5, 2012. The company has completed the repurchase program on Feb 5, 2013, repurchasing 13.9 million shares for $542 million, reflecting an average price of $38.83.

Since 2010, St. Jude Medical has repurchased shares worth $3.0 billion. As of Dec 6, 2013, STJ had roughly 292 million issued and outstanding shares.

St. Jude Medical, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company, posted third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 90 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Third quarter earnings also surpassed the year-ago earnings of 83 cents by 8.4%. Adjusted earnings were at the higher end of the company’s third-quarter guidance of 88–90 cents a share.

Revenues inched up 1% (3% in constant currency) year over year to $1,338 million in the third quarter and exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,321 million. Unfavorable foreign currency lowered total revenues by $26 million. Revenues in the U.S. (48.3% of total revenues) and in the international markets (51.7%) increased 1.1% and 0.7% to $646 million and $692 million, respectively in the reported quarter.

STJ expects total revenues in the range of $5,394 to $5,474 million for full year 2013. Further, the company upgraded its adjusted earnings expectations for the year to the band of $3.72–$3.74 from the earlier range of $3.70–$3.73. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 revenues and earnings are pegged at $5,455 million and $3.73 per share.

For the fourth quarter, St. Jude anticipates revenues in the range of $1,315 to $1,395 million and adjusted earnings between 95 and 97 cents a share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues and earnings for the fourth quarter stands at $1,376 million and 96 cents per share, respectively.

Other better-ranked medical product stocks that currently worth a look include Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (BIO - Free Report) , Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (HRC - Free Report) , and NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA - Free Report) . While Bio-Rad Laboratories and Hill-Rom Holdings carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), NuVasive carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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