This quarter -- that would be its first quarter ended July 31 -- even comparisons with the company's historical quarters are difficult, because the quarter had 14 weeks instead of the typical 13. So rather than taking a typical look at the year-over-year sales comparisons, let's join Medtronic in being different and take a more generalized look at the company.
Medtronic hit a rough patch in 2007 after problems with the leads on its implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) resulted in a recall, but the company thinks it has finally stabilized its market share against Boston Scientific
Spinal and cardiovascular products, Medtronic's second- and third-largest segments, are both looking good. The acquisition of Kyphon is helping the spinal division, and the launch of Medtronic's drug-eluting stent, Endeavor, in Japan is helping the cardiovascular division.
Taking a page from Johnson & Johnson's
With a forward P/E of about 12 and a quarter into its fiscal year, Medtronic isn't insanely cheap, but it's not overly expensive, either. Investors in for the long haul could buy now, but if you'd like to be different, a put strategy might be a good alternative.
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