You could forgive Michael Mussallem if he didn’t want to bid farewell to 2010.
While the rest of us were still trying to pull our heads out of the lingering effects of the so-called “Great Recession,” the 57-year-old chief executive of Edwards LifeSciences Corp. (NYSE:EW) was busy watching his company clean up on Wall Street and set itself up for a sweet run this year.
The Irvine, Calif.-based cardiac device maker doubled its stock price during the last year of the decade, closing at around $80 per share; it doubled sales of its Sapien transcatheter heart valves in the European Union and won a big decision in its ongoing patent fight with Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) subsidiary CoreValve.
“It was it was our best year,” Mussallem told MassDevice.
Edwards, a leader in the white-hot transcatheter heart valve replacement market, benefited from The Street’s infatuation with this groundbreaking technology: Replacing a faulty heart valve via catheter, eliminating the need for open-heart surgery. Mussallem told us it was Edwards’ execution of its sales and marketing strategy that showed investors that EW stock was a good bet.
“Investors don’t get seduced by stories. They have to believe it, with real data that supports the premise,” he said.
As for 2011, Mussallem said his company will keep making headlines, whether through the U.S. release of Sapien (scheduled for later this year) or by being a player in the merger and acquisition market.
“We plan to invest aggressively in our future. We’re going to be substantially increasing our R&D by 20 percent [in 2011] and we plan to continue to be a long-term investor,” he said.
Mussallem touched on that and a number of other issues during this wide-ranging chat.
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