As this week winds down, shareholders of Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX ) are feeling the karma brought on by the beginning of a new year. The company itself is looking to persevere through the adversity it faced in 2006 because of product recalls and the controversy surrounding the safety of drug-coated stents. I will have to say that the company is off to a great start so far for 2007.
On Wednesday, the medical device maker announced sound preliminary Q4 and full-year results. Management reported net sales of $2.1 billion and $7.8 billion for its Q4 and full-year results, respectively. These revenues mark respective increases of 34% and 24% in comparison to the company's 2005 Q4 and full-year amounts.
Another key announcement for the company came yesterday, when Boston Scientific reported the international launch and first implantation of its PROMUS everolimus-eluting stent. This event makes Boston Scientific the only company to offer two distinct drug-eluting stents. Boston Scientific's TAXUS paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent systems yielded net sales during the company's Q4 of approximately $506 million, of which $329 million is estimated to be attributable to the U.S. market. The PROMUS stent won European regulatory approval in October. The device will currently be available in Europe and is planned to launch in the U.S. in 2008.
This stent should provide an added boost to the company's stent sales, which accounted for approximately 25% of the organization's Q4 revenues but have raised concerns in the medical community about the added precautions associated with their use. Competitors Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT ) , Medtronic (NYSE: MDT ) , and Conor Medsystems (Nasdaq: CONR ) all sell competing drug-eluting stents abroad, but Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) is the only other company presently approved to sell this form of stents domestically.
While the stock only holds a two-star rating among the Motley Fool CAPS community, 81% of the players rating the stock are bullish on Boston Scientific. In fact, CAPS player Nolesman sees the stock as a good value play. He writes, "Recent bad news on coated stents offers long term investors an opportunity to acquire a former growth darling at a value shoppers [sic] pricing."
I believe that this week's events add credence to Nolesman's view on this stock. Also, I see the timing of the release of this news as a potential buying opportunity in the wake of a depressed stock price. Although the company has seen a decline in drug-coated stent sales, the market's expectations have been tamed for this product line. The company has the U.S. market cornered in this area, so as drug-coated stent sales recover, I would expect the company's stock price to recover as well.
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