GAIN ON RIVAL'S PAIN: Medtronic said its fourth-quarter profit growth was helped by higher sales of implantable defibrillators after rival Boston Scientific suspended U.S. sales of those devices for a month.
NET INCOME BOOST: Medtronic earned $954 million, or 86 cents per share, in the last quarter of 2009, up from $103 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago. The prior period's results were weighed down by a large license payment.
BACK PROBLEMS: Medtronic continued to report lackluster sales of its spinal implants, with revenue edging down 2 percent to $880 million in the quarter. Company executives also said pricing competition has squeezed profit margins.