And perhaps it just fits together beautifully that they each arrived at common solutions to their problem: acquisitions. Boston Scientific made a huge splash in buying Guidant, while Angiotech made a few ripples of its own by purchasing American Medical Instruments.
There wasn't anything terribly wrong with this quarter, but it does highlight the need for Angiotech to move away from its heavy reliance upon coronary stent revenue. Sales dropped roughly a quarter on an as-reported basis, and both income and EBITDA were considerably lower than in the year-ago period. None of this is especially surprising, since TAXUS performance hasn't been quite so hot lately.
Looking ahead, the drug-coated coronary stent game is about to get more interesting. Both Boston Scientific and Angiotech stand to gain from the Liberte stent -- provided that BSX resolves patent litigation that could potentially block it. Longer-term, there's also the potential impact of entries from Medtronic
That's not necessarily doom and gloom for Angiotech, though. The company has numerous other opportunities to "put drugs on stuff," with products in testing for markets like peripheral bypass and peripheral stenting, as well as a new agreement with Genzyme
And let's not forget American Medical Instruments. It's a growing provider of boring-but-important products like suture needles and biopsy needles, and it offers another chance for Angiotech to coat those products with compounds that can increase lubricity and/or radiopacity.
While I do believe that Angiotech is no one-trick pony, it'll take time to get through this transition period. There are other medical technology companies that I personally prefer today, but if Angiotech were to revisit $13 or thereabouts, I'd have to reconsider.
For more Foolish med-tech thoughts:
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).