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Why Intersect ENT Shares Are Crashing 31.6% Today

By Todd Campbell - May 6, 2016 at 12:31PM

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Concern over personnel turnover and decelerating growth may be weighing on shares.

Image source: Intersect ENT.

What: After Intersect ENT (XENT) reported first-quarter financials after the closing bell yesterday that failed to spark investor optimism, its shares tumbled 31.6% at 11:30 a.m. ET today.  

So what: Intersect ENT markets the steroid-releasing implants Propel and Propel mini for use in improving outcomes for chronic sinusitis patients who undergo sinus surgery. 

Last quarter, management reported that sales grew 24.8% year over year to $16.7 million. That was a couple hundred thousand dollars less than industry watchers had projected. It also said it lost $0.29 per share in Q1, which was in line with expectations. Additionally, it noted that first-quarter gross margin ticked up 2% year over year, to 81%.

On the surface, that doesn't look like a bad quarter. However, in the Q&A session during the company's conference call, it's evident that there is ongoing concern among investors regarding a deceleration in top-line growth rates and personnel turnover in its sales team.

XENT Revenue (Quarterly YoY Growth) Chart

XENT Revenue (Quarterly YYY Growth) data by YCharts

Now what: The company has been shuffling around its sales team, including redefining territories, and it's lost some sales members and replaced others. Coupled with the turnover, the pace of growth for Intersect ENT has suffered.

Even so, Intersect ENT is still guiding for revenue in the range of $78 million to $80 million this year and for gross margins of between 80% to 81%. The company's operating expense will be about $92 million, and cash burn will be approximately $25 million for the year. 

Regardless, questions remain about its growth trajectory, and that probably warrants taking a wait-and-see approach to this stock. Therefore, I'm content to see how the next few quarters play out before considering this for portfolios.

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