This could be the classic story of someone entrusting the fox to guard the henhouse. Yes fellow bloggers, many of us have learned that one should never assign a job to someone who will be in a position to exploit the job for his own end. Name me one CEO that hasn't placed his personal portfolio before the interest of the company? Birds of a feather flock together. Unlike some of our bloggers who commented that listening to Alex Lukianov was painful, TSB found it insightful to say the least, having been on previous calls where the bear would pump his chest with passion and verve, making Mel Kiper like predictions. Yet, unlike many of our commentators, TSB is not blowing taps for NuVasive. Let's get serious, they are not going anywhere. If anything the valuation of this company will align itself with the current state of the times. Just like the real estate market, NuVasive's valuation at best was inflated. I just find it hard to fathom that in this climate someone is going to call the note on its convertible debt. Besides, now wouldn't be the time.
Yes fellow bloggers, the economics of healthcare has finally settled in on that beautiful and majestic coastline by the sea, LaJolla. As painful and humbling as the call was, the bear and his team did their best to perform one of the best aztec-two steps that TSB has ever heard. I must admit, Pat Williams is definitely a candidate for Dancing with the Stars, and one must commend the work that the Ruth Group did in prepping the purple people eaters for some crisis communication. What a vision, Alex and Pat doing a combination of the samba, rhumba and tango on the call. All the excuses were there. "Unpredictable market, U.S. spine marketing bottoming out, visibility limited, volumes impacted by surgeons trying newer offerings, surgery cancellations, deceleration in procedures, push back from insurers, increase criteria for fusion surgery, etc, etc and so on." Is there no pride amongst thieves? As Sharon Angle would say, "man-up NuVasive." TSB has heard of throwing the kitchen sink, but this was more like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Is NuVasive going under? Can we talk? NuVasive is not going anywhere. If anything, Alex and his band of men in purple tights may have learned a valuable lesson. It is better to be humble, rather than exhibit bravado, especially at a time when no one truly knows what is driving this economy and healthcare landscape. There something to be said about being low-key.
But the bigger question that must be asked is, where is Robin Young and John Englehardt with their concise analysis when these two self-anointed, and self-proclaimed industry experts have done nothing but sing the praise of NuVasive? So in closing, NuVasive will probably finish the year at $450-$460 million, slightly off of their bold prediction of $500 million and they will probably still be here two years from now. Just where does anyone think a $400 plus million dollar company is going? Hopefully, there will be one less bottle of Antinori's Solaia at the table. But you know what TSB says, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.