San Diego medical device company, NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA) recorded $294.8 million in net sales for the second quarter 2021 — a 44.8% increase from the previous year’s same period. The company also delivered non-GAAP operating margin of 13.9% which was an improvement over the prior year.
Founded in 1997, NuVasive is a leader in spine-focused technology and operates in more than 50 countries serving surgeons, hospitals and patients.
The positive second quarter results were driven by improved recovery across all surgical procedure segments and the continued growth of NuVasive’s international business. Notably, the return of travel and elective surgeries in recent months has given NuVasive a boost over last year’s earnings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, with the launch of a new med-tech platform and the opening of an additional surgeon training facility, the company is leaning into its business strategy of building a comprehensive spine portfolio integrated with enabling technology to improve patient outcomes.
“As I look ahead, we have immense opportunities in front of us, with the strongest innovation pipeline in spine, which enables us to grow across all procedural segments,” said CEO, Chris Barry during the Q2 earnings call.
Financial Guidance and Strategy
According to NuVasive’s 2021 financial guidance, the company expects net sales of $1.19 billion to $1.21 billion and a non-GAAP operating margin of 14.4% to 14.9%.
NuVasive’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, Matthew Harbaugh said that the company continues to believe that net sales growth will be weighted toward the fourth quarter “with growth in our core spine business, in the full commercial launch of our Pulse platform.”
“We expect our net sales to be a slight sequential improvement due to the ramp in second quarter procedural volumes, which was sooner than we anticipated. In addition, we expect SG&A; [Selling, General & Administrative] expenses to increase sequentially as business travel returns,” Harbaugh said.
Surgeon training levels were up and exceeded second quarter 2019 levels which Harbaugh said is typically a good leading indicator of procedural growth. NuVasive’s CEO said that surgeon education remains an integral part of the company’s growth strategy, “and more importantly, furthers the adoption of less invasive and more advanced surgical techniques to help transform spine surgery.”
In the third quarter of 2021, the company will open the NuVasive East Coast Experience Center in Englewood, New Jersey. This new, state-of-the-art facility extends the company’s surgeon education and training opportunities and complements its San Diego training facility, which opened in 2020.
“NuVasive has a market-leading surgeon education program and the addition of our east coast experience center—alongside our San Diego-based west coast experience center—expands our opportunity to train more surgeons around the world,” Barry said.
The ‘iPhone’ for Spine Surgery
According to the earnings call, NuVasive increased its R&D; investment year over year to advance innovation in each procedural segment.
Most recently, NuVasive received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for the Pulse platform and commercially launched it in the U.S. and select global regions.
“Pulse is the ‘iPhone’ for spine surgery,” said Massimo Calafiore, executive vice president, Global Business Units. “It provides some of the most clinically adopted surgical tools in one, integrated platform and helps surgeons deliver safer, faster, and smarter spine surgery. Similar to your smartphone, Pulse is designed to support future applications and can evolve over time—making this an investment that will continue to drive value for hospitals and health systems, surgeons, and most importantly—patients.”
Calafiore said that the Pulse platform has the ability to transform the reproducibility of spine surgery as this platform allows surgeons to easily access multiple technologies in one place.
“Unlike competitive technologies, Pulse has the ability to be utilized in 100% of open or less invasive spine procedures, and throughout the entire operating room surgical workflow,” Calafiore said. “The procedural integration of enabling technology with our comprehensive portfolio of spine solutions remains a cornerstone of our long-term growth strategy.”
During the company’s 2021 financial guidance presentation, Harbaugh said NuVasive continues to “expect approximately $5 million of net sales for Pulse this year, largely weighted to the fourth quarter.”
CEO: Chris Barry
HEADQUARTERS: Sorrento Valley
BUSINESS: Largest spine-focused technology company in the world
REVENUE: $1.051 billion FY2020
STOCK: NUVA on the Nasdaq
EMPLOYEES: Approx. 2,700
NOTABLE: NuVasive operates in more than 50 countries serving surgeons, hospitals, and patients.