BYPASSING THE OPEN HEART
If you needed to have bypass surgery, wouldn't you prefer a procedure that didn't require opening up your chest or stopping your heartbeat? Such a revolutionary process, which requires only a three-inch incision between your ribs, means fewer risks and complications, says Dr. Valamanur A. Subramanian, chairman of the Surgery Dept. at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, who pioneered the technique. The procedure requires a shorter hospital stay and costs much less, he adds.
This is what CardioThoracic Systems (CTSI) offers through its minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB). The company launched MIDCAB on Dec. 7--six months ahead of schedule.
''Orders are well ahead of revenue estimates for the first quarter of 1997,'' says analyst Sam Navarro of UBS Securities, who says he's very excited about the prospects of CardioThoracic and its system. ''Demand among doctors and hospitals for the MIDCAB is exploding.'' Navarro foresees sales of $300,000 in the first quarter. For all of 1997, Navarro expects some 7,000 cases using MIDCAB, producing sales of $11 million in the U.S. Columbia/HCA Healthcare has signed a pact to use MIDCAB as its preferred bypass method.
Navarro expects the company to be in the black next year and sees earnings of 10 cents a share on total worldwide sales of $51.8 million. ''The MIDCAB process will turn the world of revascularization [open-heart bypass surgery and angioplasty] upside down,'' he says. Navarro expects the stock, now at 20 and trading at a rich multiple of 200, to hit 30 by yearend. ''If the company maintains its leadership in the field and achieves the numbers we see, CardioThoracic could very easily go to 40 in 1998,'' he says.
By GENE G. MARCIAL
Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.