April 25, 2018 / 10:51 AM / 3 months ago

Heart valve demand helps drive Boston Scientific's forecast

(Reuters) - Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N) raised its full-year forecast on Wednesday after reporting stronger-than-expected growth across its businesses, soothing fears that it was losing share in the lucrative market for heart valves.

The company, which lags behind Medtronic Plc (MDT.N) and Edwards Lifesciences Corp (EW.N) in the heart valves market, is pinning its hopes on its updated Lotus device, set for launch in 2019, following the withdrawal of an earlier version from Europe last year.

“Investors were arguably jittery ... post Edwards Lifesciences last night,” EvercoreISI analyst Vijay Kumar said in a note to clients.

“We think relative to this angst, Boston Scientific’s numbers looked solid.”

Shares of the company rose 2.4 percent to $29.19 in midday trading on Wednesday.

Rival Edwards Lifesciences reported lower-than-expected valve sales on Tuesday due to market share loss in Europe to Medtronic.

Boston Scientific’s cardiovascular unit, which houses trans-catheter heart valve devices, posted sales of $933 million in the quarter, ahead of the average analyst estimate of $911.50 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also said it was scaling up production of its Acurate valves, acquired as part of its 2017 buy of Swiss medical device maker Symetis SA, and expected to gain reimbursement from insurers in France in 2020.

“There are more competitors in Europe than there are in the U.S. and we see more price variation by country,” Chief Executive Michael Mahoney said on a conference call. “We’re really on offense here.”

Trans-catheter heart valves are used to replace narrowed aortic valves without open-heart surgery and currently represent a $3 billion market.

Some analysts were concerned that the scheduled launch of the new Lotus device might end up crimping sales of Boston Scientific’s Acurate.

“If Lotus gets back on the market how quickly can they recover? How do they manage ... selling Lotus without cannibalizing Symetis accounts?” Cowen analyst Joshua Jennings asked.

Boston Scientific raised full-year revenue forecast to between $9.75 billion and $9.90 billion from $9.65 billion to $9.80 billion.

The company also hiked its 2018 adjusted earnings per share forecast to between $1.37 and $1.41 from between $1.35 and $1.39.

Boston Scientific reported adjusted earnings of 33 per share, a cent above analysts’ estimates.

Net sales of $2.38 billion beat the average Street estimate of $2.34 billion.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Anil D'Silva

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