Rumor Mill: J&J might bail out of Guidant merger

Johnson & Johnson CFO Robert Darretta told analysts that his company expects Federal Trade Commission approval for its acquisition of Guidant but that it is considering "alternatives" to the blockbuster deal. Observers immediately interpreted that to mean that the company is considering either renegotiating a new price in light of the device maker's recent problems or abandoning the deal altogether. Guidant's shares fell nearly 10 percent in morning trading. The company has been hard hit by a series of major recalls of popular defibrillator models in recent months.

- see this article from BusinessWeek

ALSO: Things are looking considerably brighter for St. Jude Medical, which reported third-quarter profits up 84 percent. Much of the gain is believed to be due to increased ICD sales as the company has capitalized on Guidant's problems. St. Jude has also benefited from optimism about its acquisition of Advanced Neuromodulation Systems. Article