The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Denbury Resources, St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, Boston Scientific and Covidien

Sep 03, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR-Free Report), St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ-Free Report), Medtronic (NYSE: MDT-Free Report), Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX-Free Report) andCovidien (NYSE: COV-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Denbury Resources Upped to Buy

On Aug 29, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Denbury Resources has been witnessing rising earnings estimates following the announcement of robust second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this exploration and production (E&P) company has delivered an average beat of 19.5% in the past four quarters.

Denbury Resources reported second-quarter 2013 results on Aug 6. Earnings per share of 41 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents.

The company has a relatively low-risk business model as it produces oil by applying tertiary recovery techniques to mature fields. Tertiary operations remain the company's principal focus. The company's production from tertiary operations averaged 38,752 barrels per day in the second quarter, which represents more than a 10% increase year over year. The upside came from contributions from continued field development and expansion of facilities in Delhi, Hastings, and Oyster Bayou fields.

Denbury reaffirmed its 2013 production range of 68,700–71,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d). Strong growth from the company's high-growth projects at Delhi, Hastings and Oyster Bayou should drive production toward the higher end of the guided range. This will aid the company in effectively replacing all of the sold Bakken production. The tertiary production growth was set at 6–14%, reflecting normal year-to-year variability.

Capital expenditure was set at $1.06 billion for 2013, with approximately 85% of the total capital outlay apportioned for tertiary projects. The balance will likely be for conventional projects, primarily in the Cedar Creek Anticline.

Additionally, following the earnings release, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter of 2013 increased 8.8% to 37 cents per share over the last 30 days. Similarly, for full-year 2013, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 8.5% to $1.40 per share over the same time period.

Positive earnings surprises and favorable estimate revisions stimulated the rank upgrade.

St. John's New EnligHTN Wins CE Mark

Global medical device company St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ-Free Report) has won the CE Mark approval for its next-generation EnligHTN Renal Denervation System, for treating patients ailing from hypertension. The new device will be displayed at the 2013 European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension affects more than 33% people worldwide. Renal denervation is a novel catheter-based ablation procedure developed for treating resistant hypertension and high blood pressure in patients who do not respond well to conventional medical therapies.

The second-generation EnligHTN is an advanced version with a new generator capable of delivering simultaneous ablations, using four electrodes via a high-tech touch screen interface. It also allows doctors to observe and record information during procedures. As a result, it enhances clinical accuracy and reduces procedural time from 24 minutes to 4 minutes at a much lower cost than expensive drug therapy.

The first-generation EnligHTN device already received the CE Mark approval in May 2012 and is now commercially available in several markets. However, both the devices are yet to receive an approval from the U.S. regulatory agencies.

The emerging renal denervation business is a part of St. Jude's Cardiovascular and Ablation Technologies Division and represents major growth prospects. Physicians at STJ's cardiovascular unit believe that this alternative form of treatment for resistant hypertension represents a significant advancement in the field of medical science. With only 4% penetration rate, the device has a huge market opportunity of roughly $30 billion.

STJ is currently conducting 5 clinical trials on the EnligHTN devices. In May 2013, it initiated the EnligHTN III trial with the enrolment of the first patient, to evaluate the latest, second-generation EnligHTN device in treating drug-resistant, uncontrolled hypertension. This non-randomized trial will enrol up to 50 people in Australia and New Zealand.

Some of St. Jude's larger peers such as Medtronic (NYSE: MDT-Free Report), Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX-Free Report) andCovidien (NYSE: COV-Free Report) are also major players in the renal denervation market. Medtronic is conducting a U.S. IDE study for its CE-Marked Symplicity Catheter System. Boston Scientific acquired Vassix Vascular, a developer of percutaneous radiofrequency balloon catheter technology for the treatment of hypertension. Covidien's OneShot Renal Denervation System received CE Mark approval in early 2012.

St. Jude has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has been witnessing rising estimates on the back of strong second-quarter results and a raised guidance for 2013. Moreover, the company's growing Atrial Fibrillation product portfolio witnessed a major boost with the acquisition of Endosense and regulatory approval for its Mediguide-enabled ablation catheters.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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