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NuVasive (NUVA) Q1 Earnings Top Estimates, Margins Strong

NuVasive, Inc. NUVA delivered first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 53 cents, reflecting a 32.5% surge from the year-ago quarter. The figure also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 29.3%. On a reported basis, first-quarter 2019 EPS came in at 18 cents, highlighting a huge rebound from the year-ago loss of 53 cents per share.

Revenues in the first quarter came in at $274.8 million, up 5.5% on a reported basis (up 6.4% at constant exchange rate or CER) year over year. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a margin of 2.2%.

Geographical & Segmental Details

In the quarter under review, revenues at the U.S. Spinal Hardware business increased 4.5% year over year to $147.8 million. This revenue upside was contributed by a strong traction of product introductions coupled with new surgeon conversions.

 Revenues in the U.S. Surgical Support business were $72.2 million in the first quarter, up 3.7% year over year. This uptrend was driven by 15% growth in NuVasive Clinical Services revenues.

NuVasive, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

NuVasive, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | NuVasive, Inc. Quote

Within the Biologics segment, there was 6% decline in revenues from the year-ago quarter, even though it was in line with internal expectations. This franchise continues to see higher volumes, offset by a falling average selling price as a result of shift from Osteocel to lower cost osteobiologics.

In the first quarter, the company registered international revenues amounting to $54.8 million, reflecting 16% year-over-year growth at CER. The EMEA region witnessed a solid uptick, driven by a solid contribution from the U.K., Southern Europe and Benelux. The execution in the U.K. was boosted by wins across seven new key accounts and the tender secured last year in Germany and Benelux that produced revenues in the quarter. Revenues earned from the Asia-Pacific region grew on solid contributions from Japan and Australia and New Zealand.
Margin Details

In the reported quarter, gross profit improved 7.2% year over year to $200.3 million. Gross profit margin expanded 122 basis points (bps) to 72.9%. Adjusted operating profit jumped 47.9% from the year-ago period to $37.6 million. Accordingly, adjusted operating margin grew 393 bps to 13.7% in the quarter under review.

Operational Update

The company exited the first quarter of 2019 with cash and cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities of $491.7 million, up from $362.2 million at the end of 2018. Net cash provided by operating activities at the end of the first quarter was $24.5 million compared with $36.4 million a year ago.

Guidance for 2019

NuVasive has reiterated its outlook for 2019. The revenues are intact in the range of $1.14-$1.16 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 revenues is pegged at $1.15 billion, lying within the company’s guided range. Adjusted EPS for 2019 is also retained in the $2.20-$2.30 range. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this metric stands at $2.55, above the higher-end of the guided range.

Our Take

NuVasive exited the first quarter of 2019 on an overall promising note with better-than-expected numbers. The company witnessed balanced revenue growth across all its key operating segments. Robust sales figures in the international markets buoy optimism on the stock. We are also upbeat about the company having witnessed sturdy demand across its several recently-launched products in the U.S. Spinal Hardware business.

On the flip side, Biologics business performance was disappointing.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

NuVasive carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks boasting solid results this earnings season are Stryker Corporation SYK, Abbott Laboratories ABT and CONMED Corporation CNMD, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Stryker delivered first-quarter 2019 adjusted EPS of $1.88, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.2%. Meanwhile, revenues of $3.52 billion were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Abbott reported first-quarter 2019 adjusted EPS of 63 cents, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.3%. Also, first-quarter worldwide sales came in at $7.54 billion, above the consensus estimate of $7.47 billion.

CONMED posted first-quarter 2019 adjusted EPS of 57 cents, which exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents. Moreover, revenues summed $218.4 million, outshining the consensus mark of $213 million.

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