Sales of cardiac rhythm management products, where it competes with St. Jude Medical
Most importantly, the company's older Taxus drug-eluting stent was able to increase its share of the U.S. stent market from 24% at the end of last quarter to 27% this quarter. That might be a sign that the novelty of Abbott's Xience V and Boston Scientific's Promus -- it’s the same product in different boxes -- is wearing off. Interventional cardiologists are notorious gadget freaks, so it stands to reason that they'd try out the new product and then see how the patients fare before falling in love. That's quite all right with Boston Scientific since it has to pay Abbott to sell the Promus, but gets to keep the sales of Taxus for itself. How long this reversal of fortunes will last remains to be seen.
Earnings were nothing to get excited about, either; after (lots of) adjustments, earnings per share fell from $0.24 last year to $0.19 this year, although that was near the high end of guidance from the end of the fourth quarter. On a GAAP basis, though, EPS, at a loss of $0.01 for the quarter, fell well short of the company's previous guidance of $0.05 to $0.11.
Much like investors today, I'm having trouble getting excited about Boston Scientific. Whether the company is a value or a value trap depends on how well the rebuilding goes this year. Investors will miss out if sales begin to surge, but, at around 10 times this year's adjusted earnings guidance, there doesn't seem to be much wiggle room if things don't turn out as planned.
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