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NuVasive (NUVA) International Sales Solid Despite COVID-19 Woes

NuVasive, Inc. NUVA continues to witness strength in the global business. However, persistent decline in product prices due to intense competition in the spine market is a concern. NuVasive currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Over the past six months, NuVasive has outperformed its industry. The stock has gained 16.8% as against the industry's 5.5% dip.

NuVasive exited the first quarter of 2021 with better-than-expected earnings and revenues. The year-over-year growth in revenues looks impressive. The company continuesto experience recovery in the U.S. business. The results were primarily driven by strong international growth, led by the Asia-Pacific region. Expansion of gross margin is again a positive. NuVasive’s increasing investment in R&D to strengthen foothold in less-invasive surgeries looks impressive. The huge scope of growth in the spine market and a strong potential in NuVasive’s international business are added benefits.

NuVasive, Inc. Price

In the first quarter of 2021, U.S. Spinal Hardware business revenues rose 4.9% year over year. The business was partly boosted by NuVasive’s thoracolumbar portfolio, which was primarily driven by continued adoption of advanced material science implants. Also, strong results from the clinical evaluation of Modulus ALIF and Reline 3D within the company’s pediatric portfolio contributed to growth.

According to NuVasive, the International region holds tremendous growth opportunity for the company. In the quarter, the company registered an uptick of 4.1% year over year in international revenues on a reported basis and 5.6% rise at constant exchange rate or CER. This resulted from strong contributions from Asia Pacific, driven by product launches in the cervical portfolio and lower pandemic-led impacts.

We are also upbeat about NuVasive’s newly-introduced organizational and leadership structure for its global commercial operations as well as its product and services organization. These were previously consolidated under the role of the company's president. According to the company, these changes establish a new global commercial leader and bring together NuVasive's product and services teams under a single global leader. This new plan is expected to further advance execution of NuVasive's long-term strategy and growth goals, including doubling International net sales by 2024.

On the flip side, NuVasive’s first-quarter top line was down 5.1% at CER, adversely impacted by declines in U.S. spinal hardware and U.S. surgical support as a result of significant deferrals in elective surgical procedures starting mid-March due to COVID-19. Similarly, U.S. Spinal Hardware business revenues fell 6.3% year over year due to a fall in case volumes as a result of the pandemic. Revenues from the U.S. Surgical Support business, in the first quarter, declined 10.9% year over year.

NuVasive’s international performance was impacted by the decline in elective procedures due to COVID-19.  Further, Latin America net sales declined, primarily due to a sharp decrease in Puerto Rico, driven by case cancellations.

Rising operating costs and contraction in operating margins do not bode well either.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, NuVasive carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better ranked stocks from the Medical-Products industry include PetIQ, Inc. PETQ, National Vision Holdings, Inc. EYE and Envista Holdings Corporation NVST.

PetIQ, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 25.00%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

National Vision Holdings, which carries a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23.00%.

Envista Holdings, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 26.40 %.

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NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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