ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — St. Jude Medical Inc. said Wednesday its net income grew 9 percent in the fourth quarter on better sales of implantable heart defibrillators.

St. Jude earned $206.4 million, or 62 cents per share, in the three months ended Jan. 1. That’s up from $189.7 million, or 57 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding acquisition costs, a legal settlement, and a tax credit, the company said its profit rose to 75 cents per share from 64 cents per share. Revenue increased 12 percent to $1.35 billion from $1.2 billion. The results were in line with a forecast the company gave earlier this month.

Analysts expected earnings of 74 cents per share and $1.32 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. Analyst estimates generally exclude one-time costs and gains.

The company said sales of heart rhythm devices rose 9 percent to $762 million. Sales of implantable defibrillators climbed 16 percent to $458 million, while pacemaker sales held steady at $304 million.

Cardiovascular product sales increased 20 percent to $287 million after St. Jude bought heart device maker AGA Medical. The company said AGA’s products added $25 million to its sales. Heart valve product revenue rose 10 percent to $87 million, and vascular closure product sales fell 2 percent to $92 million. Sales of devices that treat atrial fibrillation — a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart do not beat in synch with the lower chambers — rose 13 percent to $193 million. Revenue from neuromodulation devices, which are designed to treat pain and other conditions by stimulating the nervous system, grew 15 percent to $108 million.

St. Jude said changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced its total sales by about $14 million.

For 2010, St. Jude’s net income increased 17 percent to $907.4 million, or $2.75 per share, from $777.2 million, or $2.26 per share. Revenue rose 10 percent to $5.16 billion from $4.68 billion.

The company said it expects to earn $3.25 to $3.30 per share in 2011, including a first-quarter profit of 77 to 79 cents per share. The outlook met Wall Street estimates, as analysts had forecast an annual profit of $3.28 per share, including 78 cents per share in the first quarter.

St. Jude shares declined 96 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $41.66 in midday trading.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. It is amazing to me what we are able to do with medical technology. And the advances keep coming.

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