The share price of St. Jude Medical sank 6 percent Tuesday after a doctor reported a defect in one of the company's new defibrillator leads. The Little Canada-based maker of medical devices had problems before with some of its leads, but not with its Durata product. A doctor had voluntarily reported the problem to the Food and Drug Administration but St. Jude couldn't immediately confirm the report and was still investigating.
Analysts who follow the company were treating the news cautiously. Bloomberg News quoted reports from two analysts. Raj Denho, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. in New York, wrote "all leads are prone to some level of failure, and one lead failure does not implicate the entire family of Durata leads."
David Roman, an analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York, wrote: "The sharp negative reaction in the stock reflects the fear factor of a product recall that we ultimately do not think will materialize."
Stratasys CEO Scott Crump updated analysts at last week's William Blair & Co. Growth Stock Conference about the company's pending merger with the Israel-based Objet Ltd. Both companies make competing 3-D printers and under terms of the merger agreement Crump will become chairman and Objet's CEO, David Reis, will become CEO of the combined company. Analysts were curious about possible culture clashes between the two companies. Crump acknowledged that there are two different technologies to support and some learning associated with that. But they have far more in common, he said. "Both companies are in the same business, really focused in on a similar type of applications," he said.