Edwards CEO Mussallem details U.S. Sapien sales guidance, updates on CoreValve case | Wall Street Beat

January 8, 2013 by MassDevice staff

Edwards Lifesciences CEO Michael Mussallem updates investors on U.S. sales expectations for its flagship Sapien heart valve and says the end might be near for its long legal battle with Medtronic's CoreValve over transcatheter aortic valve implant patents covering Sapien.

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Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) chairman & CEO Michael Mussallem said the medical device company expects to post U.S. sales of $390 million-$440 million for its flagship Sapien heart valve, adding 200 new sites over the next 2 years to its existing roster of 200 sites.

"The U.S. is off to a good start," Mussallem said yesterday at the J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco. "We think this grows for many, many years into the future."

Edwards expects to post sales growth of 13%-16% this year, he said, with earnings-per-share growth of more than 25%. Free cash flow is forecast to reach a new high of $300 million to $340 million, Mussallem said.

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As for Edwards' long-running battle with Medtronic's (NYSE:MDT) CoreValve subsidiary over patents covering the Sapien transcatheter aortic valve implant, the end could be nigh, Mussallem said.

"The odds are pretty substantial here that we're getting to the end of this," he said, citing an appeals court decision upholding a $74 million judgment in Edwards' favor. "My guess is that Medtronic tries to execute some kind of strategy so they're not shut out of the U.S."

Edwards expects to enjoy patent exclusivity until 2016 or 2017, Mussallem added.