What happened

NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA), a minimally invasive spinal surgery company, is having another rough day today. Specifically, the company's shares are down by 22% as of 3:01 p.m. EDT Wednesday afternoon.

NuVasive's shares are plunging in response to the rapid uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Making matters worse, the number of deaths worldwide also surged past the 8,700 mark in the past 24 hours, according to data from the World Health Organization. 

A roller coaster stock chart superimposed over a man with his head in his hands.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The spinal surgery giant's shares shot up by a healthy 56% in 2019. This year has been a different story altogether, however. Since the start of 2020, NuVasive's stock has shed a whopping 61% of its value. NuVasive's stock might be getting singled out for particularly harsh treatment because it was one of the most expensive equities -- from a forward-looking price-to-earnings ratio perspective -- in the entire healthcare sector at the start of the year. Nearly every healthcare stock that kicked off 2020 with a rich valuation is presently getting hammered by this rather moody market. 

Now what

Is NuVasive's stock a bargain after this hefty decline? The short answer is yes. The company's shares are now trading at a little over 1 time next year's projected sales. Even though the spinal surgery market may take a small hit from the COVID-19 outbreak, NuVasive probably isn't going to experience the kind of massive drop-off in revenue the market seems to be forecasting based on this dramatic sell-off. You simply can't put off a back surgery indefinitely. So, if you're bargain hunting today, NuVasive should arguably be at the top of your list.