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Cost Cuts Put Boston Scientific Back in the Black

Boston Scientific showed a profit in the first quarter after two consecutive quarters of losses, reports the Associated Press. But sales of its two main product lines, stents and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, have continued to be sluggish. The main reason for the profit: cost cutting. In the last half-year, the firm has shed 2300 jobs and sold off some of its businesses. Fruits from those moves are now starting to show up on the bottom line.

Analysts remain concerned that the firm's "fundamentals remain depressed," however. The company earned $322 million in the first quarter, compared to a profit of $120 million the same period a year ago. Quarterly sales were $2.05 billion, down from $2.09 billion in the first quarter of 2007.

In other earnings news, Kinetic Concepts Inc. saw a 27% jump in profit, thanks to strong overseas sales and the weak dollar. The firm earned $68 million in the first quarter, up from $53.6 million the same period a year ago. Sales rose 14%, from $368.8 million to $420 million.

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