I'll be the first to admit that I'm not overly fond of Boston Scientific
By just about any reasonable standard, Boston Scientific had a rough third quarter. But let's not forget that little saying about how the Chinese word for "crisis" is composed of "danger" and "opportunity." The saying happens to be wrong, but there's still some value in the underlying concept -- sometimes a quarter or two of bad luck or poor performance can make for a good long-term opportunity.
In the third quarter, there was some clinical data suggesting that Johnson & Johnson's
That's bad enough, but there's more. The company received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration relating to quality assurance in product shipping. Now, although warning letters can be serious, and Boston Scientific has had some past issues with defective products, I don't think this is a big deal. Nevertheless, a warning letter is never good news for any company.
Last, but not least, there are widespread rumors that Johnson & Johnson may have to license out a part of its stent technology to secure government approval of its takeover of Guidant
Nevertheless, I'm beginning to wonder if there is some opportunity here. Boston Scientific just settled nagging litigation with Medinol, a former partner, and will have to pay $750 million in settlement -- expensive, but not as bad as the potential billions it could have cost. What's more, Boston Scientific does still have the leading stent platform and considerable cash-flow-generation capabilities.
I would like to see Boston Scientific develop a second and/or third major product platform that would reduce its dependence on drug-coated stents, but that might not be strictly necessary for this stock to go up. In fact, my valuation models suggest that even with modest future growth estimates (low teens), the stock might well be a bargain anywhere below the mid-$20s. Now, let's be clear: This is not the safest stock, and I've followed the company long enough to be pretty much perpetually skeptical. But just maybe, there might be some opportunity, mixed in with a little danger, in this quarter's "crisis" for Boston Scientific.
For more medical missives:
- Medtronic Keeps the Beat
- JNJ: One to Monitor
- Waiting for Boston Scientific's Second Act
- Abbott Hopes to Maxx Out