NuVasive Q2 net sales down 30%, unclear if growth will return by end of 2020: 6 insights from CEO Chris Barry

Spinal Tech

In NuVasive's second-quarter earnings call Aug. 4, CEO Chris Barry said the spine device company remains uncertain whether its business will return to growth by the end of the year, according to Seeking Alpha.

Six key points:

1. Second-quarter net sales at NuVasive declined 30 percent to between $202 million and $205 million year over year. April was the hardest month for NuVasive, with net sales declining almost 70 percent from the previous year. Volumes increased through May and June, but June still represented a "low double-digit year-over-year decline in net sales," Mr. Barry said.

2. Procedural volumes have increased in July, and Mr. Barry said he hopes they will reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. However, he said there is still uncertainty about  the rest of the year. 

"It is important to understand the trend line is starting to taper, and it remains uncertain whether the business will return to growth by the end of the year," he said.

3. But there is reason for optimism. Hospitals are performing a wider variety of spine surgery cases now compared to when elective surgeries resumed in May, according to Mr. Barry. These include multilevel spinal fusions and less complex fusions, spinal deformity cases and complex spine procedures.

4. In the second quarter, the company launched its Reliant 3D posterior fixation system for patients who have spinal deformities. Additionally, NuVasive plans to expand its X360 portfolio with the introduction of its Maximum Access Surgery lateral retractor. An anterior cervical plate and posterior cervical fixation device for degenerative trauma and deformity pathologies will also be launched by the end of the year.

5. The timeline for its Pulse system and associated robotics application has been delayed due to "software and hardware updates following beta testing, as well as the impact of COVID-19," Mr. Barry said. NuVasive expects to finish testing and obtain FDA clearances in the summer of 2021, rather than the first half of 2021.

6. In July, NuVasive launched the Its Time to Evolve campaign, based on the company's XLIF procedure, an alternative to spinal fusion. The initiative aims to educate providers on the benefits of less invasive surgery over open posterior approaches, including  reduced operating room time, less blood loss and shortened length of stay, which are "more important to hospitals and surgeons than ever before," Mr. Barry said.

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