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What: Shareholders of medical device maker Integra LifeSciences (Nasdaq: IART ) are falling off their second cliff in as many quarters, down 17%, after the company issued disappointing preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year guidance.
So what: If you feel like we've been here before, it's because we have. Integra last cut its full-year forecast on Oct. 31, and today did so for a second time. The company expects fourth-quarter revenue of $202 million to $203 million, below its previous guidance, yet still sees EPS in the range of $0.65 to $0.70, which is consistent with Wall Street's consensus estimate of $0.67. It also lowered its full-year EPS guidance to $2.74 to $2.79 from a previous range of $2.88 to $2.96. Integra blamed inventory reductions by its instruments distributors, weakness outside of the U.S., and weak domestic sales of its Extremity Reconstruction products as the reasons behind the earnings shortfall.
Now what: This one really stumps me. On one hand you have a medical devices company that should be cleaning up considering just how quickly the health-care field is growing. Yet, the company has now warned in two consecutive quarters. The magnitude of the warnings from an EPS perspective has been small relative to the huge haircut the stock has received on both occasions. Possibly against my better judgment and the sub-10 forward P/E, I'm going to go out on a limb yet again and say that Integra represents a solid value here, and that investors might be wise to dip their toes into this slow-but-steady growth stock at these levels.
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