ATS Medical going strong; also: Domestic traffic down, international up for Northwest, and ‘bad health’ for UnitedHealth

ATS Medical is finding its rhythm this summer. The company estimates it made close to $17 million in revenue during the quarter that ended last week. That’s 35 percent more than the same period last year. The Plymouth-based company makes medical devices for use in heart surgery. CEO Michael Dale said sales have been particularly strong for its CryoMaze product, which lets doctors restore normal heart rhythms in patients with atrial fibrillation by temporarily freezing a section of the heart, which disrupts electrical pulses.

It appears fewer families are flying to Disney World and other domestic destinations, but those who can afford international travel aren’t cutting back, according to Northwest AirlinesJune traffic report. The number of domestic passenger miles was down nearly 5 percent, compared with last June, but the same figure for international flights increased nearly 10 percent. Could part of the explanation be that the international jet set is wealthier and thus less affected by rising fares and the slumping economy?

The Motley Fool says UnitedHealth Group isn’t healthy, but neither are its big competitors. “The problem for UnitedHealth is that there’s a lot of competition out there, and no matter what it did, earnings were likely to suffer,” according to the Fool.

UnitedHealth had a choice of lowering prices and risk losing money, or raising prices and risk losing customers. It chose the latter and will lose about 800,000 members this year. The Fool says the good news for UnitedHealth and other insurers is that they still sell something people need.

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