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UPDATE 3-Medtronic beats Street estimates boosted by strong recovery in core business

(Adds CEO comments, unit sales)

May 27 (Reuters) - Medical device maker Medtronic Plc beat quarterly Wall Street estimates on Thursday, aided by a recovery in its core business as more people opted for non-urgent procedures such as knee and hip replacements.

U.S. medical device makers now expect more people to sign up for the procedures, shaking off their hesitancy for hospital visits during the pandemic, as restrictions ease and the vaccination drive gathers steam.

Ramped up COVID-19 vaccinations is giving people and prospective patients the confidence to go back into the healthcare system, Chief Executive Officer Geoff Martha said.

The U.S. has seen an overall improvement in utilization volumes in the medtech sector throughout the first-quarter of this year according to brokerage Credit Suisse.

Medtronic is fast approaching its pre-pandemic level and most of the company’s business has reached nearly 85%-100% recovery, CEO Martha told Reuters.

“We’re really pleased with the recovery and the momentum that we believe will continue into this fiscal year,” Martha added.

Sales at Medtronic’s heart devices unit, its biggest revenue driver, jumped 45.1%, meeting analysts’ estimates of $2.91 billion, according to seven analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Sales from emerging markets, which includes China, surged 47.4% to $501 million during the quarter. Business in China, one of Medtronic’s large markets is back to normal, Martha said.

For full-year 2022, Medtronic, expects profit between $5.60 per share and $5.75 per share. Analysts on average expect $5.72 per share according to Refinitiv IBES data.

“The sequential improvement commentary gives us confidence in the recovery, starting with potentially strong Q2 earnings,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Robbie Marcus.

Excluding items, Medtronic earned $1.50 per share in the fourth-quarter, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.42 per share.

Revenue for the quarter rose 36.5% to $8.19 billion, ahead of consensus view of $8.14 billion. (Reporting by Trisha Roy and Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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