Volcano, which late last year sought to mollify dissatisfied investors with a $200 million share buyback and a more cautious approach to acquisitions, gained nearly 1% today after reporting 1st-quarter results roughly in line with expectations and affirming its 2014 guidance.
CEO Scott Huennekens told analysts during a conference call that the sales force upgrade "created a little more of a distraction in the 1st quarter than we had expected."
"However, entering the 2nd quarter, all coronary peripheral and capital equipment territories are now fully staffed and the people are trained," Huennekens said during the call. In prepared remarks, he noted that the realigned sales force is expected to "drive growth acceleration through the remainder of 2014 and into 2015."
Volcano posted losses of -$10.9 million, or -21¢ per share, on sales of $94.5 million for the 3 months ended March 31. Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, losses per share were -12¢, 2¢ behind analysts’ expectations.
"The first quarter was marked by important accomplishments in our product pipeline, including the U.S. approval of our iFR (Instant Wave-Free Ratio) FFR (Fractional Flow Reserve) and SyncVision Co-Registration System technologies for which we are commencing limited market releases during the 2nd quarter. In addition, during the first quarter we initiated the full market release of our Crux IVC (inferior vena cava) filter," Huennekens said in a statement. "We also realized solid growth in our U.S. peripheral business and with our FFR and IVUS (Intravascular Imaging) disposable revenues in Europe."
Volcanos said it still expects to report adjusted losses of -57¢ to -60¢ per share on sales of $413 million to $421 million this year. Second-quarter adjusted losses are pegged at -4¢ to -6¢ per share, on sales of $102 million to $104.
Late last year Volcano faced down a challenge from activist investor Engaged Capital, which bought up a 5.1% stake and demanded changes including the $200 million share buyback Volcano later acceded to. Last week CFO John Dahldorf said the company remains committed to a "pretty disciplined capital allocation process."
"[W]e are always evaluating licensing and acquisition opportunities versus shareholder return," Dahldorf said during an earnings call. "For purposes of this guidance, we are not factoring in the execution of the 2nd $100 million tranche of our share repurchase program. As we indicated last quarter, we continue to take the capital allocation process very seriously, and our board and management continue to evaluate this opportunity in context of what is best for the company and our stockholders in the long run."
VOLC shares closed up 0.7% at $17.50 today.