At least investors know that Boston Scientific
Selling off the units seems like a good move to help the company focus on getting its act together. Last month, Boston Scientific recalled some of its heart defibrillators because it realized that changes to the manufacturing protocol hadn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Analysts peg the potential proceeds from the sales at about $2 billion. In a best-case scenario, Johnson & Johnson
Boston Scientific bought Target Therapuetics, which develops catheter treatments for the nerve and vascular systems, for $1.1 billion in a 1997 all-stock deal. Of course, Boston Scientific's stock was worth considerably more back then.
Boston Scientific could certainly use the cash. Last quarter, the company announced another restructuring -- something it seems to do just about every year -- in order to increase cash flow. The company took on substantial debt to make its expensive 2006 purchase of Guidant. It's been slowly knocking down the debt, but still had $5.9 billion in long-term debt on the books at the end of last year.
Assuming the report is true -- it was one of those unnamed-source varieties -- the sale could be a step in the right direction for Boston Scientific. I wouldn't call the company the perfect value play quite yet, but at least management is looking for strategic solutions to get itself out of a sticky situation.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor selection and Motley Fool Options recommended buying calls on the stock. The Fool owns shares of Medtronic and has a disclosure policy.