Has St. Jude Medical Become the Perfect Stock?http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/01/18/has-st-jude-medical-become-the-perfect-stock.aspx Dan Caplinger
January 18, 2012
Every investor would love to stumble upon the perfect stock. But will you ever really find a stock that provides everything you could possibly want?
One thing's for sure: You'll never discover truly great investments unless you actively look for them. Let's discuss the ideal qualities of a perfect stock, then decide if St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ ) fits the bill.
The quest for perfection
With those factors in mind, let's take a closer look at St. Jude Medical.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. NM = not meaningful; St. Jude started paying a dividend in March 2011. Total score = number of passes.
Since we looked at St. Jude Medical last year, the company has kept its six-point score. Starting a dividend was a promising sign, although a rise in debt took the point away again.
St. Jude specializes in medical devices having to do with the human heart. With products to manage heart rhythm, repair heart valves, and provide atrial fibrillation, St. Jude sells its wares around the world, with roughly half of its sales coming from international markets.
Last week, St. Jude gave preliminary results for its fourth quarter. With a 4% jump in sales, the company said it felt comfortable with previous guidance for earnings of between $0.83 and $0.85 per share. However, the climate for medical devices has been hit-or-miss, with a weak economy creating some soft pockets for revenue at times.
St. Jude also faces significant competition from a select group of companies. Medtronic (NYSE: MDT<