The Five Top Medical Technology Companies of 2013

With the U.S. economy gradually rebounding from the Great Recession, the medical device industry is seeing an increase in business. While some medical device companies have been plagued with regulatory and financial issues such as the medical device tax, several companies stand out from the competition. The financial-services firm Motley Fool, recently singled out five such firms for their stellar performance or potential. The firm also chose the five worst-performing medical device companies of 2013.

Beginning the list of five device companies is NuVasive (San Diego), a spinal orthopedics manufacturer. The company recently purchased a company in Ohio to bring its manufacturing processes in-house. While the spinal device industry has faced some challenges in recent years, an aging Baby Boomer population will help ensure that NuVasive has plenty of customers in the future, says analyst Dan Carroll. At the start of the year, the company’s stock was at $15.46. On June 21, it was at $24.08.

Globus Medical, another spinal device manufacturer, is poised to succeed as the market picks up, Carroll says. In particular, the company’s minimally-invasive devices allow it to stand out from the competition. Minimally-invasive spinal procedures can provide out-patient surgical operations with lower complication risks compared to traditional procedures. The company’s stock is now roughly 50% higher than it was at the beginning of 2013.

AbioMed, a cardiac device manufacturer, has shown more than a dozen consecutive quarters of strong revenue growth. The company’s Impella heart device was recently approved by several insurers to be covered by health plans. Armed with insurance reimbursement support, AbioMed may be able to garner a larger market in the future. The company’s stock was trading around $13 at the beginning of the year; at the end of June, it is hovering in the range of $21.

Thanks in part to a significant share price increase in 2013, Carroll included Boston Scientific on the list. This year, the company’s stock has hit levels not seen by the company since 2010. He acknowledges that the company faces some serious challenges that could damper investor expectations. Boston Scientific’s interventional cardiology division has taken a significant beating over the past year, although it remains one of the largest device companies. However, there is some hope in its renal denervation and neuromodulation markets.

MiMedx, a small regenerative tissue manufacturer, has shown significant growth over the past year: 86%. However, this is a small startup that could be volatile in the future. The company’s FDA-approved tissues are designed for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, which represents a large and growing market.

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