Edwards Lifesciences (EW) Soars to New High as Heart Valve Aces Trial

Leading medical-device maker Edwards Lifesciences (EW) jumped 17% on Monday, a day after its artificial heart valve passed a hurdle that could greatly expand its market, Investor’s Busines Daily reported.

Edwards conducted a large clinical trial comparing its transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), Sapien 3, to traditional open-heart surgical valve replacement in patients with aortic stenosis, or shrinking of the aortic valve of the heart, who were characterized as “intermediate risk” for open-heart surgery. The study followed up on patients 30 days after surgery and again a year later, and it found that deaths and strokes were both significantly lower in the Sapien group.

Sapien 3, which is delivered via catheter through a small incision in the patient’s thigh, was approved in June 2015 for patients who were at high risk if they had open-heart surgery. Adding the intermediate-risk population to the patient pool led several analysts to hike their sales estimates for the product.

“We estimate the patient population could increase 50% to 150,000 to 200,000, including intermediate-risk patients,” wrote Canaccord Genuity analyst Jason Mills in a research note, as he raised his price target on Edwards Lifesciences stock to 113 from 95. “We increase our Edwards 2016 sales estimate to $2.796 billion from $2.779 billion and pro forma EPS forecast to $2.72 from $2.68. For 2017, our top-line projection increases to $3.1 billion from $3.06 billion and pro forma EPS to $3.21 from $3.09.”

EW is up 38% since it was recommended in Cabot Top Ten Trader on January 25.

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