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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is Boston Scientific Getting Healthy? (BSX)

Boston Scientific announced earnings that Wall St. liked. The financial picture was complicated by the company's acquisition of Guidant. Sales went from $1.51 billion to $2.03 billion. The increase was driven largely by $446 million in sales from Guidant properties.

Earning hit $76 million compared to a loss of $269 million in the third quarter of last year. The company had a $598 million legal settlement expense in that quarter.

All in all, looking at the lack of improvement when legal costs and Guidant are factored out, the quarterly results seem bleak. And recall and quality issues with the company's stents and pacemakers have not gone away.

The stock moved up from a multi-year low, rising 5% to $15.88.

The news was not that good. Call it a relief rally.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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