I like where this is going, Boston Scientific
The beleaguered medical-device maker stretched its wings a little with the purchase of Asthmatx yesterday. The privately held medical-device maker sells the Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System, which treats asthmatics by inserting a catheter that removes some of the muscle that contracts during asthma attacks.
I like the extrinsic growth away from Boston Scientific's bread and butter of heart devices. Having to make stepwise improvements to constantly stay ahead of Medtronic
But it's a little hard to judge the acquisition since Asthmatx is a privately held company. The purchase will be dilutive to Boston Scientific's earnings in 2011 and 2012 and only break even in 2013. Part of that has to do with charges, but it seems Alair's sales aren't going to cover the added costs for a while.
Maybe Asthmatx has a lot of research and development under way increasing expenses, but I fear it's a sign that Boston Scientific expects the adoption of Alair to be slow. The system is designed for patients whose asthma isn't controlled by drugs such as GlaxoSmithKline's
The uncertain sales might be the reason that Boston Scientific hedged its bets and only put a $193.5 million down payment on the company. The rest -- up to $250 million -- is dependent on Boston Scientific's achieving revenue-based milestones through 2019.
From media interviews and conference calls, it sounds like new CEO Ray Elliott is interested in doing more deals to diversify further. If it can stick with smaller deals like this one, and not go for Guidant 2.0, this could be the turning point investors have been looking for.
Of course, we've heard that before.
Bet against hedge funds? Adam Wiederman thinks it's worth considering.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Medtronic. We tell you this because we love you. Oh yeah and the whole disclosure policy thing.