NuVasive Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

NuVasive (NUVA)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 25, 2012 5:30 pm ET


Patrick F. Williams - Vice President of Finance & Investor Relations

Alexis V. Lukianov - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. Lambert - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President

Keith C. Valentine - President and Chief Operating Officer


Matthew S. Miksic - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Raj Denhoy - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

William J. Plovanic - Canaccord Genuity, Research Division

Richard Newitter - Leerink Swann LLC, Research Division

Robert A. Hopkins - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Lawrence Biegelsen - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

John M. Putnam - Capstone Investments, Research Division

Christopher T. Pasquale - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Glenn J. Novarro - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Matthew Taylor - Barclays Capital, Research Division

David H. Roman - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Denis Kelleher

Matthew O'Brien - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Jacob Messina

Michael Matson - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division

Spencer Nam - ThinkEquity LLC, Research Division

Jeffrey D. Johnson - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division



Greetings, and welcome to the NuVasive Inc. Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Patrick Williams, Vice President of Strategy and Investor Relations for NuVasive. Thank you, Mr. Williams, you may begin.

Patrick F. Williams

Thanks, operator. Welcome to NuVasive's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. NuVasive's senior management on the call today will be Alex Lukianov, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Keith Valentine, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Michael Lambert, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

During our management comments and our responses to your questions, certain items may be discussed which are not based entirely on historical facts. Any such items should be considered forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, which if they do not materialize or prove correct, could cause NuVasive's results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

These and other risks and uncertainties are more completely described in today's press release and NuVasive's most recent 10-Q and 10-K forms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Finally, to keep the conference call to a manageable time, we will be limiting the Q&A to approximately 30 minutes.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Alex.

Alexis V. Lukianov

NUVA continues its market share taking execution. We are now halfway through 2012 with a very solid foundation to build on for the balance of the year. Revenue for the second quarter grew 16% year-over-year and 19% for the first half. We also saw a very strong sequential profitability leverage, reporting a 16.3% non-GAAP operating margin for the quarter, and 14% for the first half. This translated to a $0.27 non-GAAP EPS this quarter.

Our cash generation in the quarter was also outstanding, resulting in our highest free cash flow of all time. I am really pleased with the global execution of our market share taking strategy and with the strong operating margin and earnings translation.

As I mentioned in our first quarter earnings call, we continue to focus on executing to annual expectations, and our first half performance gives us confidence to increase both our revenue and profitability guidance for the full year. We are raising full year revenue guidance by $10 million to approximately $625 million, which implies year-over-year growth of over 15%.

We are also raising our non-GAAP operating margin guidance by 50 basis points, and now expect approximately 14.5% for the full year. Accordingly, we are raising our non-GAAP EPS to $0.97. Execution against these objectives in 2012 will serve as a stepping stone on our path toward becoming the #3 global spine player and driving toward $1 billion in revenue with continuously improving profitability.

The global spine market though continues to be challenged, but we believe it is showing signs of stability. International markets are showing modest growth rates, while the U.S. market continues to see pressure from insurance payer pushback, position on distributorships and general uncertainty in the health care environment. Our market share taking strategy remains unchanged, and our execution in the first half speaks to this despite the industry challenges.

Our unparalleled focus on products with complete procedural solutions to drive better patient outcomes and reduce health care costs will continue to deliver growth at multiples to the market. We also continually balance the required investments to further drive market share gains while delivering on our profitability objectives. Our decisions have fueled industry-leading growth since NuVasive went public over 8 years ago.

Similar to the prior earnings calls, I will provide an update on the key investment decisions that will sustain NuVasive's differentiation for years to come, and optimize the increasing value of our enterprise.

First of all, products and services. NuVasive's role as a leader of innovation in spine is mission-critical to the continued success of our share taking strategy. By the end of the year, we expect our portfolio to boast over 80 innovative spine products which address both minimally-invasive and traditional procedures. Our commitment to reinvent our portfolio by developing game-changing products also remains unchanged and will position NuVasive ahead of the competition.

In the first half of this year, we launched additional indication-specific implants for XLIF sagittal alignment, new lateral fixation options, extension of MAS TLIF and the new MaXcess C-retractor for the cervical spine. Soon, we will launch a new posterior approach known as our MAS CLIF. This will redefine the traditional posterior approach into a less invasive, medialized procedure for posterior pathology that requires direct decompression. With our sights set on becoming a $1 billion company with increasing profitability, you can expect that we will continue to have a solid MIS development pipeline.

With regard to our cervical TDR device known as PCM, we continue to plan for an eventual approval later this year. However, we still do not know exactly when FDA will give us approval. Launch of this device would mark our foray into motion preservation of the cervical spine.

As we mentioned on our last call, protracted FDA delays and a less-developed reimbursement landscape for the PCM and similar motion preservation products, have severely impacted the addressable size of the market. Nonetheless, it is a very exciting segment of minimally-invasive surgery with excellent outcomes. We have not included, however, any 2012 revenue for this product in our newly raised guidance. We plan to provide updates and general forecasts once we gain clarity on the timing of this launch.

As well, we continue to work toward U.S. clearance of our synthetic biologic AttraX, but we have no further updates at this point in time. As a reminder, AttraX augments our existing portfolio of biologics solutions, which we believe can compete head-to-head with the industry leader at a more economical price point.

On the monitoring front, we are only 3 quarters into our acquisition of Impulse Monitoring, which enables NuVasive to offer the most comprehensive neuromonitoring solutions available to hospitals and surgeons. The clinical prowess of the Impulse team continues to demonstrate to surgeons the power of integrated neuromonitoring and the technical superiority of our monitoring solutions. Offering a complete procedural solution to a surgeon is a unique advantage, and we are beginning to see the results as monitoring case volumes continue to grow to record levels.

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