Whether you want to dismiss it as vanity or not, the fact remains that the non-surgical aesthetics market is worth over $2 billion a year. If Israel's SyneronMedical
Mid-day on Monday, Syneron announced that the FDA had granted approval for the company's latest offering, the VelaSmooth, for the temporary reduction of cellulite (as well as relief of minor muscle aches and pains).
Like the rest of Syneron's devices, the VelaSmooth uses a combination of optical energy ("light," in other words) and radiofrequency energy to work its magic. In the case of the VelaSmooth, this energy results in a noticeable reduction in the appearance of cellulite. In contrast to older surgical methods, the new techniques don't actually cause weight loss; rather, they just disrupt the local cellulite deposits.
An effective, non-invasive approach to reducing cellulite has been in demand for years. As such, I'd imagine that Syneron should see hefty demand for this product. With robust profit margins, that additional revenue could make a big impact on the bottom line.
While the market for laser (and laser-like) cosmetic devices is extremely competitive, Syneron would appear to have an edge for at least a little while. Competitors like Cutera
No doubt that Syneron has good products powered by valuable proprietary technology. There's equally no doubt that Syneron has used those products and that technology to deliver some high-octane growth.
But my problem is one of history. See, I can't help but be a student of history, and as such I see that the records of medical laser companies have been dicey at best. Syneron might very well be a leader of a new crop of high-quality laser companies that redeems that poor legacy, but at current valuations it seems more suitable for investors willing to be a bit more aggressive than I.
For more Foolish Takes on lasers, medical and otherwise:
- A Diamond in the Rough
- Candela Brightens on Sales Growth
- II-VI Hits the Mark
- Laser Beamer Lookin' Good
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson owns shares of Johnson & Johnson.