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Analyst Blog

On Dec 20, Zacks Investment Research upgraded medical device major Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX - Analyst Report) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The upgrade came on the back of the recent CE Mark approval for the company’s X4 line of quadripolar CRT-D systems.

Why the Upgrade?

The CE Mark approval of X4 line of quadripolar CRT-D systems, includes the AUTOGEN X4, DYNAGEN X4, and INOGEN X4 cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds), a suite of ACUITY X4 quadripolar LV leads and the ACUITY PRO lead delivery system.This approval ensures wide recognition of the product throughout the European region.

The market is also upbeat about the adoption of this product following the CE Mark based on a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO).According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases account for more than half of all deaths across the European Region.  Moreover, WHO has led to the finding that 80% of premature heart diseases and strokes are preventable. Therefore, it is believed that that the new offering has the potential to act as a boon for heart patients by helping save lives.

The US defibrillator and stent markets have remained major overhangs over the past several quarters. However, with several initiatives undertaken by the company, the CRM segment is currently reviving its top line.

In the last reported quarter, total CRM sales were up 1% y/y (same at CER) to $464 million (exceeding the high end of the guidance range) with a 3.3% increase in U.S. sales ($282 million) and a 3.7% drop in the international market to $182 million. The company believes that the worldwide CRM market continued to show signs of stabilization on the back of growth in Asia and Latin America.

Boston Scientific is resorting to all available means in order to return to growth. The company has a strong pipeline of products under development. The launch of the new products should drive the top line. We are encouraged by the focus on emerging markets, especially India and China. Boston Scientific plans to invest approximately $150 million in China over the next 5 years to build a local manufacturing operation.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Boston Scientific, other stocks worth considering in the MedTech industry include McKesson Corporation (MCK - Analyst Report), Align Technology Inc. (ALGN - Analyst Report) and Cardinal Health, Inc. (CAH - Analyst Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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