Edwards slashes projections despite Q1 growth

Edwards Lifesciences is scaling back expectations for its Sapien valve.--Courtesy of Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards Lifesciences ($EW) expected to ride a broader indication for its Sapien heart valves to record revenue in 2013, but despite an 8.2% sales spike in the first quarter, the company is reducing its full-year forecast by about 5%.

The company posted sales of $496.7 million on the quarter, above last year's $459.2 million, and net income more than doubled to $144.9 million, thanks in part to an $83.6 million lawsuit victory over Medtronic ($MDT). Transcatheter heart valve revenue grew 39.7% thanks to growing Sapien sales around the world, while surgical heart valve sales declined 2.7% to $198.1 million in the first quarter and critical care revenue fell 3.9% to $128.9 million.

But despite the early success, the company is scaling back its expectations for Sapien, at least for this year, accounting for unexpectedly sluggish demand in the transcatheter valve market. Edwards had previously expected up to 45% growth in Sapien sales on the year, bringing in as much as $790 million, but after a slow start the company has hacked the high end of its estimates to 30% growth and $750 million in sales.

As a result, Edwards now expects full-year sales of up to $2.1 billion, down from its earlier best-case projection of $2.2 billion, CEO Michael Mussallem said.

"Our THV clinical results continue to be very positive and we are making good progress on our pipeline of new products that we believe will enable us to strengthen our leadership position," Mussallem said in a statement. "Yet, as global sales this quarter across product lines were below our expectations, we are lowering our 2013 guidance primarily to reflect a slower start to the year and an updated foreign exchange impact."

- read Edwards' full results