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Edwards Lifesciences Is Getting Healthier

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Back in November, I wrote about Edwards Lifesciences (EW - Get Report) and was subsequently ridiculed for rushing to its defense following the stock's 40% decline. I was told the stock was a falling knife.

That has changed in a big way. Edwards' stock is up 3.2% for the year to date after its Wednesday close of $67.85. The Standard & Poor's 500, by comparison, is down 0.2% for the same period.

Back in November, when management guided lower than the Street expected, investors ignored the company's strong third quarter. I didn't think the future growth rate of the transcatheter valves industry was as bad as management made it out to be. I thought Edward was being careful not set itself up for failure.

Since November article and the 40% pullback, Edwards shares are trading 12% higher. The Street has realized Edwards' competitive position against rivals such as Medtronic (MDT) is not as bad as initially perceived. If fourth-quarter results serve as indication, it's only a matter of time before investors recover the balance of its third quarter's 28% decline.

Fourth-quarter revenue, reported earlier this month, was up more than 5% year over year to $536 million. Underlying growth was even more impressive at 10%, when adjusting for currency fluctuations. Full-year revenue jumped close to 8% to $2.05 billion and underlying growth was up 11%, beating Street estimates.

The strong revenue results are due to several new product launches and the company's advancements in clinical data. These achievements negated prior fears about the company's future growth potential and management's ability stunt competitive pressures.

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