Image source: Abiomed.

What happened

After the company reported fiscal second quarter sales and profit that were shy of industry watchers estimates, shares of Abiomed (NASDAQ:ABMD) are tumbling 10.2% at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday.

So what

The maker of medical devices that help keep patient hearts pumping said sales were $102.96 million and EPS was $0.20 in the quarter. Analysts were looking for the company to deliver $200,000 more in revenue and $0.04 more in earnings per share.

Revenue grew 35% from last year in the quarter, and GAAP net income of $0.20 outpaced the $0.17 reported in fiscal Q2 a year ago. Sales came predominately from the company's Impella line-up of heart pumps, which are used to support patients following a heart attack and through heart surgery. Impella sales of $97.9 million were up 37% year over year as Impella sales in the U.S. improved 34% to $89.3 million and patient use grew 35%. International sales also increased to $8.6 million in the quarter, up 73% year over year due to rising demand in Germany.

Gross margin slipped to 83.2% in the quarter from last year, while operating margin dipped to 14.1% from 16.8%.

Now what

Management entered the quarter estimating fiscal full year sales of at least $435 million, and management maintained that forecast on Thursday. The company expects revenue of between $435 million and $445 million and GAAP operating margin of between 18% and 20%, and if the company delivers on its revenue target, it will represent a 32% to 35% improvement over its fiscal 2016 results.

Although Abiomed's sales growth was lower than hoped, sales didn't miss projections by much. I don't think Abiomed's miss is due to competitive losses and I am encouraged by the company's potential abroad.

Overall, Abiomed has been one of healthcare's top performing stocks, so an argument could be made that it was priced for perfection. Undeniably, Abiomed's still a pricey stock, but Thursday's sell-off does make it more attractive to me -- especially for inclusion in growth portfolios. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.