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Sector Snap: Heart device makers gain ground

Shares of companies that make heart devices mostly traded higher Tuesday, after Boston Scientific Corp. reported successful trial results for one of its products, which analysts said could lead to better sales of other items.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Shares of companies that make heart devices mostly traded higher Tuesday, after Boston Scientific Corp. reported successful trial results for one of its products, which analysts said could lead to better sales of other items.

Boston Scientific said its device designed to re-coordinate the pumping of the right and left ventricles, called a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator, reduced death and the need for hospitalization in heart failure patients. Boston Scientific said its device was more effective than traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

The devices deliver electric shocks to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. Use of implantable heart devices has slumped in recent years because of product recalls and safety concerns.

"There is no question that the penetration of CRT-D devices will increase," said Jefferies analyst Peter Bye, because the trial data could lead to expanded health insurance and Medicare coverage for implants. However, he said, it's not clear how many more patients will be considered good candidates for the implants.

Boston Scientific shares rose 28 cents, or 3 percent, to $9.52 in afternoon trading. Shares of St. Jude Medical Inc., a company Bye singled out as a beneficiary of improved sales, added $1.50, or 3.8 percent, to $41.04.

Elsewhere, shares of Abbott Laboratories picked up 4 cents to $46.80, and Medtronic Inc.'s stock rose 13 cents, to $33.32.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson slipped 39 cents to $55.10.