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OK, I’ve been able to work through the call and here are some points worth noting:

Total cardiac rhythm management, or CRM sales, which include revenue from ICD and pacemaker, was $751 million, up 2% from last year's third quarter. On a constant currency basis third-quarter CRM sales were down 3%.

In the U.S. pacemaker sales were $126 million, down 6%. International pacemaker sales were approximately $180 million, up 9% from the third quarter of 2010 including $18 million of favorable foreign currency translations.

An interesting comment from CEO Dan Starks: ”Virtually everyone in med tech is concerned about the impact factors such as the European debt crisis, other macroeconomic conditions, foreign currency translations, Health Care Reform and other public policy dynamics will have on med tech market growth rates. These are legitimate concerns and continue to draw significant attention from the St. Jude Medical leadership team. It is more important, however, to realize that St. Jude Medical has set itself apart from other companies by preparing to accelerate its growth in spite of these concerns.”

These growth drivers include:

•  Trifecta pericardial stent and tissue valve program: This market represents a new growth opportunity for St. Jude Medical of approximately $500 million annually and is showing strong performance;

•  Portico transcatheter valve implant or TAVI program;

•  Percutaneous mitral valve program, or PMVR product line; “We estimate that if our PMVR technology can help even 5% of the patients in developed markets who already have been diagnosed with symptomatic mitral valve regurgitation we will have a new $2 billion growth driver at the same time we save money for global healthcare budgets.”;

•  Left atrial appendage or LAA closure system; “with reasonable assumptions the LAA closure market will be a new $400 million growth market by 2015.”;

•  “We estimate that approximately 2.2 million patients in Europe suffer from severe and chronic migraine which is approximately 5% of the total migraine population in Europe. If we can help only 5% of this 5% with our neuromodulation therapy we will have a new $1 billion growth driver at the same time we reduce patient suffering and help improve healthcare economics. As always, market development will take time, but limited market release activities already are underway and are expected to benefit our organic sales growth rate in 2012.”;

•  Renal denervation for treatment resistant hypertensive patients; “We estimate that if we are able to treat only 1% of adult hypertensive patients who do not respond to medical therapy we will have a new $1 billion growth driver.”;

Interesting perspective on the FDA: “The regulatory pendulum at the FDA has swung too far in the wrong direction against innovation and needs to take a more practical approach to risk/benefit analysis.”

It appears that one of the underlying themes of the call is that while the company feels it’s on the right track and pursuing these new drivers, dealing with the FDA is a timely and imperfect process. Lots of data to sift through and making sure they present it the right way so that it is understood to be effective. To me one of the biggest advantages of investing in a company like St. Jude is that you have here a company with huge resources and commitments to developing the newest and best stuff. So when you hit the inevitable roadblocks, their diversity helps the overall picture.

ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) performance has been weak, but it’s not glaring and it’s also one that I mentioned in the initial write-up. All in all not bad though. It looks like they guided a little lower than some were hoping for, but the market doesn’t seem to have a problem with the results as the stock is up about 6.5% as of this

Foolish best,

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