Shares of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE:EW) continued to feel the heat on Wall Street, dropping 3 percent in early-morning trading today after taking a 12 percent hit last week.
The selloff comes despite positive second-quarter results and a favorable FDA panel vote that could clear the way for the launch of Edwards’ Sapien transcatheter heart valve in the U.S. later this year.
The company received more mixed news from The Street today, with analysts at Rodman & Renshaw downgrading EW shares from a “market perform” rating to “underperform” in a research note to investors. The investment bank put a $66.00 target on the stock, which opened at $77.89 yesterday.
Rodman & Renshaw’s price targets are significantly lower than other analysts’ forecasts on The Street. Morgan Keenan upgraded EW shares to “outperform” from “market perform” with a target price of $97.00 yesterday. And last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated its “neutral” rating on the stock with a target of $99.00.
Edwards shares were on a tear for more than a year prior to the selloff, jumping nearly 60 percent from July 21, 2010, to July 21, 2011.
Edwards, ranked 46th on the MassDevice Big 100 list of the world’s largest medical device makers, received a positive panel vote last week from the FDA for its Sapien transcatheter heart valve.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company filed its PMA application in October 2010 and has staked its flag on an October 2011 release, sinking about $40 million into a launch that CEO Michael Mussallem said will allow the company to compete in 200 to 400 medical centers in the U.S. The Sapien heart valve is cleared for sale in 27 EU countries and in other countries that recognize the CE Mark.
Edwards now appears on track to have a healthy head start on rival Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) and its CoreValve system in the robust replacement heart valve market.