Sudden cardiac arrest strikes people everywhere, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restore normal heartbeat can be a lifesaver. Airports, sports arenas, and government agencies are installing the devices. Cardiac Science (CSCX) (CSCX), which makes AEDs and other systems for patients with heart ailments, is a big beneficiary. Its solid fourth-quarter results were due to a 41% jump in AED sales. Tops in the field is Medtronic (MDT), which suspended product shipments in January because of quality issues raised by the Food & Drug Administration. As No. 3, Cardiac Science has a 20% market share with 2006 sales of $155 million. "The outlook for the AED market is robust," says CEO John Hinson, because of growing awareness that the devices are needed in public places. Dalton Chandler of investment firm Needham sees Cardiac Science's AED sales rising 18% in 2007. He rates the stock, now at 9.49, a buy. With several catalysts surfacing in 2007, "we view CSCX as an attractively valued solid long-term story," says Jonathan Block of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, who has a 12-month stock price target of 12.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.
By Gene G. Marcial