Edwards Lifesciences, a leading provider of heart disease devices, reported revenue growth in the first quarter after boosting sales at its transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) business.
“In the U.S., our first quarter TAVR sales grew in the low-double-digits versus the prior year, and we estimate total procedure growth was comparable. As we indicated, we believe that first-quarter trends were lifted by improved hospital staffing levels. Results were also lifted by a catch-up in procedure volumes early in the quarter following the holiday season slowdown,” CEO Michael Mussallem said Wednesday on an earnings call with investors.
TAVR sales increased by 11% in the quarter on a constant currency basis. The company’s surgical structural heart business also grew 12%, or 17% on a constant currency basis.
Mussallem attributed the growth to “penetration of our premium products across all regions,” adding that “valve surgery growth was higher than our expectations as hospital staffing levels improved leading to some catch-up in procedures.”
Will growth continue?
Analysts at Stifel said in a note on Wednesday that sales growth at the TAVR unit exceeded estimates and that procedure volumes are expected to improve “as the macro improves and 2023 unfolds.” The analysts also identified three areas that create uncertainty about the company’s path for the rest of the year.
These include a “difficult to quantify” amount of the first-quarter growth that stemmed from the “spill over” of the TAVR backlog from the final three months of 2022. In addition, the analysts added that growth will depend on the opt-in rate for the recently launched TAVR device, Sapien 3 Ultra Resilia. Lastly, the analysts noted that while growth at the surgical structural heart business accelerated in the first quarter, they expect it will “moderate to more normalized” levels.
Edwards raised its full-year sales forecast for all product groups, increasing the minimum expected range for its revenue from 9% to 10%. The company is keeping the top end of the growth range unchanged at 12%. Edwards also expects TAVR sales to total $3.8 billion to $4 billion this year.