Medical Device Stocks Eye Rapidly Growing Vascular Market

In case you missed it, or are not a subscriber to Medical Device Daily, contributing writer and medical device analyst Larry Haimovitch attended the recent Cannacord Genuity Global Growth Conference in Boston in August and came away impressed by two smallcap stocks focused on the rapidly growing peripheral vascular disease market.

Haimovitch, who noted that the conference generated record attendance, said these two companies are thriving and enjoying record growth despite the recent economic difficulties and poor performance of many smallcap growth equities: Minneapolis-based Vascular Solutions (Nasdaq: VASC, http://www.vascularsolutions.com) and Burlington, MA-based LeMaitre Vascular (Nasdaq: LMAT, http://www.lemaitre.com).

Both companies are riding the impressive growth trend in the vascular market, which is expanding worldwide because of several important trends: an aging population, sedentary lifestyles, an increasing prevalance of obesity and diabetes and increased disease awareness and screening. It is estimated that the market for devices treating peripheral vascular disease is accelerating at a double digit annual growth rate.

 Haimovitch says both companies “are clearly thriving, beneficiaries of astute management leadership and well-crafted strategies to compete in their respective markets.”

Vascular Soutions, a medical device company that serves interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists worldwide, grew 15 percent in the first six months of 2010 and CEO Howard Root predicted that 2010 will be the 10th consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth.  Its one-year stock chart is impressive. Starting a year ago at about $7.77 , the company’s stock now trades at about $11.60. CEO Root will be presenting at the 2010 Stifel Nicolaus Healthcare Conference in Boston Sept. 15.

LeMaitre Vascular markets its less invasive devices, including injectors, stent grafts and catheters, exclusively to vascular surgeons, who are rapidly growing their share of peripheral vascular procedures from other interventionists. Its one-year stock chart is also impressive, climbing from about $3.55 a year ago to a nearly $7 stock price on Sept 8.

Another smallcap medical device company that is expected to make a disruptive move into the thriving vascular space is Mountain View, CA-based Hansen Medical Inc. * (Nasdaq: HNSN, http://www.hansenmedical.com), a developer of flexible robotic catheter technologies. New CEO Bruce J. Barclay has discussed his focus on vascular robotic technology and the company in June announced the successful completion of its pre-clinical study of its new vascular robot designed to improve catheter navigation, reduce vessel trauma during catheter manipulation, reduce radiation exposure for patients and physicians, and improve access time compared to manual catheter manipulation. Investors are awaiting another announcement of progress in the vascular space. The stock has recently dropped to  around $1.50, way off its 52-week high of $4.58, but investor interest should pick up as vascular progress continues – effectively tripling Hansen’s addressable market.

* Denotes Allen & Caron client

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