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Positive Earnings News for Device Giants

It's first-quarter earnings report time, and the news from a number of device behemoths has been good. Johnson & Johnson reported a 16% increase in earnings over last year's first quarter, thanks to strong device sales and a payment resulting from its failed bid for Guidant Corp. St. Jude Medical Inc. showed a 15% gain , mainly from strong sales of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Abbott Laboratories Inc.

saw profits rise 3% despite a (mostly drug-related) decline in sales. And the news was even good for Boston Scientific Corp. despite its reports of a 7% decline in earnings due to slowing drug-eluting stent sales. Its stock price rose because profits exceeded analyst expectations.

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