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RBC Ups St. Jude Medical to Buy

RBC Financial Group raised its investment opinion on St. Jude Medical (STJ) to buy.

Analyst Phillip Nalbone believes investors were bidding up the stock today given St. Jude's very strong third quarter, long-term growth platform, and proposed acquisition of Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANSI) for $1.3 billion. He says the deal marks the company's entry into the attractive neurostimulation market, which he views as a very good long-term move because of the addition to top line-growth, which he estimates at about $180 million in 2006. Meanwhile strong third quarter earnings per share growth shows strength in the underlying business. He believes the acquisition will likely be earnings per share neutral for 2006. Noting that the company's recent earnings per share beat consensus estimates, the stand out was implantable defibrillators. The pace maker product performance was positive surprise, Nalbone said.

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