What happened

Shares of NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA), a market leader in spine-related medical technology, skidded 10.1% in early morning trading and has since recovered somewhat. As of 2:10 p.m. EST, they were off by 7% as investors digested the preliminary 2017 results management released this morning.

So what 

Rather than wait for independent auditors to give their blessing, NuVasive opened the books just wide enough to share top-line results for 2017 and expectations for 2018. The company expects last year's revenue to fall in line with guidance provided in the company's third-quarter report.

A man making an anxious expression while looking at an open laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

Falling U.S. sales continue to be offset by a red-hot international segment. In fact, the international segment reported its fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains in excess of 20%. In 2017, total revenue grew about 7%, and the company expects adjusted EBITDA to fall in a range between $290 million to $300 million.

Now what

Though NuVasive didn't share a specific total revenue figure, at the low end of its adjusted EBITDA estimate, it looks like management smashed through its margin expansion goal. That's good news for a company that's reached a saturation point in the vital U.S. market.

NuVasive expects its effective tax rate to settle around 33% for 2017. Now that corporate tax reform is a done deal, there will be a lot more profit to fuel share repurchases going forward.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends NuVasive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.