Leading cardiac assist devices maker
) third-quarter fiscal 2012 adjusted (excluding one-time items
other than stock-based compensation expenses) earnings per share of
6 cents outstripped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 1
On a reported basis, the Massachusetts-based company swung to a
profit in the quarter as it saw robust sales for its popular
Impella cardiac pumps (including Impella 2.5 and 5.0). The Impella
pumps are used for the support of acute pre-shock patients or for
prophylactic support of patients undergoing high-risk percutaneous
Abiomed registered a profit of $2.9 million (or 7 cents a share)
in the quarter versus a loss of $0.8 million (or 2 cents a share).
The overwhelming results pushed up the company's shares by roughly
14% to touch a new 52-week high of $21.92 on February 3.
Revenues & Margins
Abiomed clocked record sales in the quarter which soared 18%
year over year to $32.2 million, paced by solid double-digit growth
in its Impella business. Sales came ahead of the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $30 million. Revenues in the U.S. and international
markets surged 17% and 37%, respectively, in the quarter.
Globally, Impella sales cruised 31% year over year to $27.7
million. U.S. Impella sales spiked 30% to $25.5 million. Abiomed
opened 37 new U.S. Impella 2.5 sites in the third quarter (versus
29 sites a year ago) to end the quarter with 605 customer
Gross margin edged up to 80.5% from 80% a year ago. Total costs
and expenses rose 7% year over year to roughly $30 million.
Abiomed exited the quarter with cash equivalents and short-term
marketable securities of $60.8 million, up 14.5% sequentially, with
Abiomed has raised the bottom end its revenue guidance for
fiscal 2012 based on solid year-to-date revenues and its current
expectations. The company now expects sales in the range of $122
million to $125 million compared with its earlier view of $120
million to $125 million. The current corresponding Zacks Consensus
Estimate is $119 million.
Abiomed is enjoying strong demand for its Impella products.
Impella utilization continues to grow at a healthy pace as borne
out by the increasing number of patients being treated with the
The company, in late 2011, unveiled its multi-year growth
initiatives at its annual investor day in New York City. Abiomed,
at the meet, discussed new clinical and economic data from the
PROTECT II study, which was presented at the Transcatheter
Cardiovascular Therapeutics ("TCT") conference in November 2011.
The results demonstrated improved outcomes in patients undergoing
extensive revascularization with Impella support.
Moreover, Abiomed announced the successful first human use of
its new Symphony synchronized heart pump. The device, which was
announced at the American Heart Association ("AHA") 2011 scientific
sessions in November 2011, is geared to treat New York Heart
Association ("NYHA") class III chronic heart failure patients.
Abiomed also revealed, at the meet, a new Impella product dubbed
"Impella cVAD" which is expected to become commercially available
in the U.S. in the summer of 2012. Moreover, the company noted that
it expects to foray into the Japanese market with its Impella
products in 2013.
While we are upbeat about the prospects of Impella, we remain
cautious about the intensely competitive environment and
reimbursement risk. Abiomed faces competition from organizations
developing permanent heart assist products including
). Currently, we have an Outperform recommendation on Abiomed,
which is backed by a short-term Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).
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