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Why NuVasive Inc. Shares Jumped

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA  ) , a developer of minimally invasive surgical medical devices, jumped as much as 10% after announcing its preliminary fourth-quarter results, as well as its fiscal 2014 forecast.

So what: For the fourth quarter, NuVasive anticipates reporting revenue of approximately $189 million, and noted that its non-GAAP operating margin will likely surpass its previously issued guidance of 14.5%, meaning EPS will also likely be higher than expected. By comparison, Wall Street had been anticipating NuVasive would report $176.4 million in revenue for the fourth quarter. Looking ahead, NuVasive is forecasting roughly $725 million in full-year revenue in 2014, with another 100 basis points of non-GAAP operating margin expansion and the assumption of further spinal device market share gains. Wall Street was only forecasting $712.1 million in full-year revenue in 2014.

Now what: The strength from NuVasive's earnings report is a bit surprising considering how critical its CEO, Alexis Lukianov, was of Obamacare and its medical device excise tax in prior years. It's also a bit confusing, given that most hospitals and patients are cutting back on medical procedures with the uncertainties of Obamacare still working themselves out. However, don't let my surprise/confusion hide the fact that these are solid results. In fact, if NuVasive is performing this well in a tight spending environment, and with the addition of Obamacare's extra taxes on medical device makers, imagine how well NuVasive will perform when baby boomer retirements kick into high gear! I wouldn't exactly call NuVasive a value play here at 29 times forward earnings, but I would certainly suggest adding it to your watchlist.

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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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Related Tickers

9/2/2015 4:00 PM
NUVA $52.15 Up +0.14 +0.27%
NuVasive CAPS Rating: *****