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Why Hansen Medical Inc. Shares Soared

By Sean Williams - Feb 11, 2014 at 2:00PM

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Hansen Medical shares soar after getting the A-OK from the FDA on a new product. Should investors rejoice or be cautious after today's move higher?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Hansen Medical (HNSN), a designer of medical robotics for the positioning, manipulation, and control of catheters, jumped as much as 30% after announcing the receipt of clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its Magellan 6Fr Robotic Catheter for peripheral vascular interventions.

So what: According to Hansen's press release, the Magellan 6Fr Robotic Catheter is an improvement in that it features "novel dual-bend technology, enabling independent robotic control of two separate bend sites on a single catheter, compared to the current Magellan 9Fr Robotic Catheter which is designed as a telescoping device with two, independently controlled robotic catheters." It also features a smaller outer diameter catheter, for use in smaller vessels in the peripheral vasculature. The company plans a limited product release in the coming months with a wide-scale product release later this year.

Now what: The big news here is that we have another FDA approval that Hansen can log on its belt in an effort to improve sales and reduce its cash burn rate. Recent growth in Hansen's top line has been practically nonexistent, so the hope from shareholders is that this new product approval will help jump-start Hansen Medical back in the right direction again. As for me, while I appreciate the technology, I'm still lost as to how Hansen gets anywhere near profitability with its current lineup of products. In fact, with only $42 million in cash as of last quarter and a cash burn rate of $40 million annually, I'd be concerned about the potential for share dilution here. It's a company I'd suggest safely monitoring from the sidelines.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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