I've always wanted to like this company. In fact, there was a point when I believed Boston Scientific was one of the best turnaround candidates in the med-tech sector, given that its medical devices are used in a range of interventional medical specialties. But uncertainty about the company's growth potential kept me at bay.
It's true that CEO Mike Mahoney has advanced the company past some lingering problems. And there are signs that device growth has stabilized and restored the strength of this operation. There's still, however, residue from billions of dollars spent on acquisitions that have produced little-to-no growth, which can't be ignored. The Street, meanwhile, has taken a different stance.
Despite this track record, Boston Scientific stock has been one of the best performers in the sector, soaring well over 100% in the trailing twelve months. Once again the Street is showing strong confidence that this company can outperform in 2014. I don't mind betting on a long-shot every now and then. But this isn't the first time these bets were placed. It wasn't long ago when this company was considered a "sure thing."
[Read: Biotech Stock Mailbag: Cell Therapeutics and the Ariad Hostile React-o-Meter Meltdown]
What's more, when compared to the performances of rivals like Stryker (SYK) and Medtronic (MDT), I haven't found anything in Boston Scientific's recent earnings reports to support such optimism. Instead, it's been the strong performance of the entire sector and the idea of "tandem-trading" that has lifted Boston's shares to comparable levels. But can it last?