The aesthetics of its new product offerings have made the first-quarter earnings report of Cynosure
Two new lasers, the Affirm anti-aging system and the SmartLipo lipoplasty laser to zap fat, were primarily responsible for a 52% increase in revenues to $26.1 million in the quarter. Laser revenues alone rose 59% on the strength of the two systems. Although it's half the size of Candela
The SmartLipo fat reduction laser may be what drives the future of the company. It's estimated some 80% of all women have some form of cellulite, and liposuction is the No. 1 cosmetic surgery procedure performed today, with about a half million procedures every year. But it's also a very invasive one. The most common procedure involves the insertion of a tube to suck out fat. Anyone watching one of those Learning Channel surgery shows knows the extreme, cringe-inducing manipulation of the body that occurs during the procedure.
Laser-assisted lipoplasty, on the other hand, is minimally invasive. A laser fiber is inserted into the area to be treated and a laser energy blast essentially melts the fat cell, allowing it to drain away. It's also a targeted procedure that can sculpt a body more than typical liposuction would allow. Cynosure only began selling the SmartLipo laser in November, but it believes it has already developed first-mover status in this field, and it could be well on the way to becoming synonymous with the procedure.
Laser revenues account for 88% of Cynosure's first-quarter revenues and were responsible for 59% of the company's overall revenue increase. The laser workstations it's selling are higher profit centers, allowing the company to increase its sales staff to support the equipment. Focusing on liposuction would also allow Cynosure to minimize whatever royalties it would have to pay Palomar Medical Technologies
While the first quarter was indeed a great one for the company, Cynosure readily admits that growth rates can't be sustained. The market for aesthetic-laser procedures remains strong -- even sagging Candela acknowledges as much -- and Cynosure believes it will offer striking results going forward, even if they're not at the same rate as this time around.
Cynosure also has established a recurring revenue stream with disposable components for its Affirm system, and with margins high for these systems, it expects to keep its gross profit margins north of the 60% range. Those are results that any investor could find aesthetically pleasing.
Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Candela but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.