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Here's Why You Should Retain Avanos (AVNS) Stock for Now

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Avanos Medical, Inc. (AVNS - Free Report) is well poised for growth in the coming quarters backed by its impressive product line. Strong performance in the first quarter of 2021 along with commitment toward Research and Development (R&D) bodes well for the stock. However, stiff competition and foreign exchange headwinds are concerning.

Over the past year, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 8.7% compared with 17.2% growth of the industry and 37.7% rise of the S&P 500 composite.

The renowned medical device solutions company has a market capitalization of $1.68 billion. The company expects to maintain its strong performance. It has an earnings surprise of 91.89% for the past four quarters, on average.

Avanos’ projected EPS growth for 2021 stands at a solid 53.2% compared with the industry’s projection of 19%.

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Let’s delve deeper.

Strong Segments: Market is optimistic about Avanos’ Chronic Care business, which exhibited strong performance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This segment rose 4.7% on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter of 2021, with mid-single digit demand for Avanos’ Digestive Health products. Further, robust international performance was driven by new channel partnerships and the company’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions for CORTRAK along with market share gains across Europe.

Despite pandemic-led challenges to ON-Q therapy (as a significant percentage of surgeries where ON-Q is used, require a hospital stay) during the quarter, sales through Leiters increased double digits. This primarily resulted from a partnership with Leiters, which continues to benefit customers as a pre-fill option.

Solid Product Portfolio: Investors are upbeat about Avanos’ robust product suite. The company’s COOLIEF registered strong growth in March while double-digit growth in Game Ready boosted the Pain Management arm over the past few months. The company also recorded growing market adoption and share of both the CORTRAK and NeoMed portfolios during the first quarter. The NeoMed portfolio growth came from continued conversions to the company’s ENFit technology. Avanos’ 80-Watt COOLIEF RF generator has been receiving favorable response from physicians.

Commitment Toward R&D: We are upbeat about Avanos’ continued focus on its R&D wing to commercialize new products and enhance the effectiveness, reliability and safety of the existing ones. The company has been investing to expand the indications for use of its pain products with clinical research and studies, and associated new product developments. It is also expanding its portfolio with customer-preferred product enhancements. The company is optimistic about its internal pipeline of innovation on the back of development of electronic pain relief solutions.

Downsides

Foreign Exchange Woes: Avanos transacts business in many foreign currencies and is thus subject to the effects of foreign exchange fluctuations. The company’s financial statements are reported in U.S. dollars with international transactions being translated into the same. If the U.S. dollar strengthens in relation to the currencies of other countries where the company sells its products, its U.S.-dollar-reported net sales and income will decrease.

Stiff Competition: Avanos faces severe competition in both U.S. and international markets from MedTech bigwigs like Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX - Free Report) . Such an intensely-competitive landscape is likely to build pressure on margins.

Estimate Trend

Avanos has been witnessing a positive estimate revision trend for 2021. Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings has moved up 4.3% to $1.21.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter 2021 revenues is pegged at $182.1 million, suggesting 11.24% growth from the year-ago reported number.

Key Picks

Two better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space include Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. (AMEH - Free Report) and Envista Holdings Corporation (NVST - Free Report) .

Apollo Medical, which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 20%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Envista Holdings, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 26.4%.