Healthcare Business Recap: Intuitive Surgical Earnings, Insmed’s Prize

Even though Q4 results beat estimates and 2012 revenue growth guidance of 17%-19% is above the 16.5% consensus, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) is selling off post-earnings. Investors might have been looking for stronger growth, which is implied by the fact Intuitive sported a post-earnings trailing P/E of 39. Adding to this conclusion are some so-so comments about European demand.

AstraZeneca’s (NYSE:AZN) promise to avoid big acquisitions might be reassessed, after recent setbacks for some of its most promising experimentel drugs. Also in the situation is competition from generics. AZN can make small-to-medium acquisition with its existing cash, without losing its AA- rating, according to Fitch, but such purchases will not offset the sales decline that begins in 2012.

Earnings Report: MeadWestvaco Corp. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek.

Use of Novartis’ (NYSE:NVS) MS drug Gilenya has been authorized since March 2011, but there are reports of heart problems in patients taking the drug, prompting Europe’s medical regulator to begin a review. This is not the first setback for Gilenya.

The FDA has lifted the clinical hold previously placed on Arikace, made by Insmed (NASDAQ:INSM). Arikace is used for treating lung infections. There is a remaining hold on the drug for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients, but discussions with the FDA on this are ongoing.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CBST) misses Q3 estimates, with profit sliding 53% Y/Y. Last month’s acquisition-related costs resulting from its $190M deal for constipation drug-maker Adolor, are said to be largely to blame for Cubist’s current dip.

Don’t Miss: Insmed Drug Gets Green Light from FDA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at