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NuVasive CEO 'Very Optimistic'

Alex Lukianov aims for a 10% share of the over-$2 billion lumbar/spine-fusion surgery market.
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In an exclusive interview with

TheStreet.com's

"StreetWatch " Webcast,

NuVasive

(NUVA) - Get Report

Chairman and CEO Alex Lukianov says the company is "very optimistic about achieving its forecasts" and "excited about its prospects for the year."

San Diego-based NuVasive is a medical-device company focused on the design, development and marketing of products for the surgical treatment of spine disorders. The U.S. market for lumbar/spine fusion surgery was an estimated $2 billion in 2004, with an expected annual growth rate of 20% going forward. Lukianov believes NuVasive can continue to grow faster than the overall market and set a long-term goal of capturing 10% of the market.

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In the first quarter, NuVasive reported revenue of $13.1 million, a 72% year-over-year increase, and reiterated guidance for fiscal 2005 revenue of $59 million to $61 million. Analysts expect the company to report revenue of $60.8 million in the same period, according to

Reuters

.

Lukianov described the outlook for the company's principal product, a minimally disruptive surgical platform called maximum access surgery, or MAS, which accounted for 75% of its revenue in the first quarter. Adoption of the MAS platform is occurring at a "robust pace," he says, aided by the company's recent opening of a new training facility for surgeons.

Other issues Lukianov discussed include the artificial disc market, plans for submitting its total disc replacement system for Food and Drug Administration approval and new products such as SpheRx.

NuVasive shares, which are up more than 35% in 2005, fell 41 cents to $13.53 Friday, when the interview was conducted.

The full video interview can be found

here.