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Medtronic (MDT) to Buy Affera, Expand in Electrophysiology

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Medtronic plc (MDT - Free Report) recently made a major investment to advance in the prospering field of electrophysiology (EP). The company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Boston-based, privately held medical technology company Affera, Inc. that works on the rapidly growing demands for cardiac arrhythmia treatment.

The acquisition is expected to expand Medtronic’s portfolio of cardiac ablation products and accessories that targets a growing patient population. With this acquisition, Medtronic, which has an established footprint in the cardiac ablation space, will be able to enter into additional EP technology segments, such as mapping and navigation.

The financial terms of the deal have been kept under wraps. However, Medtronic expects the acquisition to close in the first half of the company’s fiscal 2023, subject to the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions.

For investors’ note, Medtronic, through its minority investment portfolio, has been a strategic investor in Affera and already holds a 3% ownership stake in the company.

More on the News

Affera develops cardiac mapping and navigation systems as well as catheter-based cardiac ablation technologies, including a differentiated, focal pulsed-field ablation solution, for the treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) such as atrial fibrillation (AF). Affera’s Prism-1 cardiac mapping and navigation platform, Sphere-9 cardiac ablation catheter and investigational technologies are designed to enable the rapid creation of detailed maps used by electrophysiologists to diagnose arrhythmias and deliver cardiac ablation therapy, respectively.

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Affera’s full suite of solutions and technologies is claimed to complement Medtronic’s existing atrial and ventricular arrhythmia disease management portfolio. It will also help Medtronic to come up with advanced cardiac ablation solutions for improved patient outcomes.

A Strategic Deal

Medtronic is highly optimistic about this deal as within the $8 billion EP ablation market globally, the prevalence of cardiac arrhythmias is growing significantly. With this increasing patient population, there is a rapidly growing demand for treatments like AF, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), and ventricular tachycardia (VT).

Among these, AF holds the largest disease segment, with nearly 60 million people affected worldwide (per the “Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors, 1990-2019” report). Further, AF disease, being progressive, gets more complicated in patients. Over time, patients can experience more frequent and longer episodes and medication. Further, in this period catheter ablation can become less effective. Added to this, the severity of AF is also high as it is associated with serious complications including heart failure, stroke, and increased risk of death.

In such a scenario, the impending Affera acquisition claims to reduce the burden of AF. The consolidated technologies by both companies will deliver advanced solutions to address the rapidly growing demands for cardiac arrhythmia treatment.

Financial Significance

Following completion, the acquisition is expected to be less than 1% dilutive to Medtronic's adjusted earnings per share in each of the first three years, and neutral to accretive thereafter. The company expects dilution of approximately 5 cents in both year 1 and year 2 and approximately 3 cents in year 3.

MDT's Recent Update on Cardiac Ablation

In cardiac ablation solutions, Medtronic, on its Q2 fiscal 2022 earnings call, stated that it expects to win share with the rollout of its DiamondTemp RF Ablation System and drive awareness and adoption of its Arctic Front Advance Pro cryoablation, as a first-line treatment for paroxysmal AF.

Share Price Performance

Over the past year, Medtronic has underperformed the industry. The stock has lost 10.9% compared with the industry’s 8.6% decline.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that investors can consider are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. (AMN - Free Report) , Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. and Patterson Companies, Inc. (PDCO - Free Report) .

AMN Healthcare, sporting a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 16.2%. The company’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 19.5%, on average.

AMN Healthcare has outperformed its industry over the past year. AMN has gained 65.8% versus the 55.8% industry decline.

Apollo Endosurgery, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7%. The company‘s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 25.6%, on average.

Apollo Endosurgery has outperformed its industry in the past year. APEN has gained 112.3% against the industry’s 1.4% decline.

Patterson Companies, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.9%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, delivering an average earnings surprise of 3.7%.

Patterson Companies has underperformed its industry over the past year. PDCO has declined 42.2% versus the industry’s 14% rise.

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