Guidant Corp., Indianapolis, said it still believed in "the strategic rationale" for its $25.4 billion acquisition by Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J., and that the fundamentals of its medical-device business remain strong. The statement followed a report that a J&J executive in a conference call with analysts said J&J was considering "alternatives under our merger agreement" in the wake of a flurry of recalls by Guidant. The companies expect to receive Federal Trade Commission approval of the deal this month. Guidant President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Dollens said in the statement that Guidant's third-quarter results will reflect the recalls of heart-failure devices in July and part of August, but the recalls will be offset by growth in coronary stent sales and other emerging businesses. "While recent events and the publicity surrounding them will impact our short-term results, we believe that the fundamentals of our business and the markets that we serve remain strong and our outlook is positive," Dollens said. -- by Cinda Becker
Guidant affirms belief in J&J deal, underlying business
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