A Goldman Sachs analyst has lowered price targets for two medical device makers and added a third sell-rated company to its "Americas Conviction" list after forecasting slow growth for implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
Analyst David H. Roman lowered 12-month price targets on Boston Scientific Corp. to $9 from $10 and on Medtronic to $43 from $47. St. Jude Medical Inc. also was added to the Goldman Sachs "Americas Conviction" list, as its rating was maintained at "Sell." The list represents recommendations focused on either the size of a potential return or the likelihood of the realization of the return, according to Goldman Sachs.
Vendor consolidation and increased price competition from manufacturers will contribute to slow growth this year for the defibrillators, which are used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, said a note from the analyst. The note said they think consensus sales and earnings-per-share projections for St. Jude are too high.
"As numbers come down, we expect the stock's (price-to-earnings) multiple to come under pressure," the note said.
Goldman Sachs surveyed 50 electrophysiologists and talked with doctors who suggested the market for the devices will slow this year.
"We think hospitals' efforts to consolidate vendors is a key driver of the increased pricing pressure in ICDs," the note said. "Specifically, around 23 (percent) of the respondents in our survey indicated that their hospitals had stepped up their efforts to consolidate vendors."
The analyst also noted that the companies, after multiple recalls, are operating at full capacity for the first time in nearly four years.
St. Jude shares fell 4 cents to $37.59 in afternoon trading, while Medtronic shares rose 47 cents to $42.14 and Boston Scientific added 1 cent to $8.22. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained less than 1 percent.
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