St. Jude Medical Inc. said second-quarter net income increased 48 percent, due to strong sales of a variety of products that ward off sudden cardiac death and stroke.

In the second quarter ended June 28, the Little Canada-based medical technology company said net income climbed to $201 million, or 58 cents a share, from $134.8 million, or 39 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings beat analysts' estimates by 5 cents, and the company raised its 2008 forecast by 13 cents.

The company reported net sales of $1.14 billion in the second quarter, a 20 percent increase over the same period of 2007. Favorable foreign currency translation comparisons increased second-quarter sales by about $64 million,

Sales of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) were $712 million for the second quarter, a 20 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2007.

Of that total, ICD product sales were $406 million in the second quarter, a 24 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2007. ICDs are $30,000 devices implanted in the chest that shock an errantly beating heart back into rhythm. Second-quarter pacemaker sales were $306 million, an increase of 14 percent.

Sales products treating atrial fibrillation -- a disorder where the heart's upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively, potentially leading to stroke -- totalled $135 million in the second quarter, a 35 percent increase.

St. Jude Medical sales of neuromodulation products were $61 million in the second quarter, up 17 percent.

Total sales of cardiovascular product, which include primarily vascular closure and heart valve products, were $228 million for the second quarter of 2008, a 14 percent increase.

St. Jude expects its earnings for the third quarter to be in the range of 56- to 58 cents per share, and $2.28 to $2.33 per share for 2008.

St. Jude announced results before the market opened on Wednesday.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752