As Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes portrayed the uncompromisingly hopeful character of Don Quixote, he analogizes the mythological creature of the phoenix, which the ancient Egyptians believed could renew itself. Throughout history, writers and artists have depicted the phoenix rising from ashes in this process, probably due to the bird’s flight to the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis. Likewise, cardiovascular device makers are emerging from the third quarter with unlikely strength, especially due to the improbable, ash-like foundations seen in the previous year-ago figures.
Abbott, the newest player in the U.S. drug-eluting stent (DES) market, booked an impressive 36.5 percent jump in net earnings over the previous-year third quarter, causing the company to raise its 2009 projections. However, the only caveat to its returns was a global dip in its diabetes care unit.
Also, with its pending $6.6 billion acquisition of Solvay Pharma, Abbott gained full global rights to the popular lipid-lowering agent TriCor, which the company hopes will continue to enhance its bottom line.
DES competitor Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Cordis, also reported a small increase in profits for the third quarter—1.1 percent. However, its squeaking into the black was not a result of increased stent sales. In fact, J &J said that growth was “offset by lower sales in the Cordis franchise.”
Imaging giant and patient monitoring services provider Philips Healthcare just missed the mark of having a profitable quarter. Although the company experienced double-digit growth in the emerging markets sector, its sales decreased by 4 percent overall.
Though the phoenix is beginning to flutter its wings, the tenuous nature of the market prevents it from taking flight. And with some obvious areas for hope, cardiovascular vendors are seemingly emerging from the flames of this recession.
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