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Here's Why NuVasive Is Tanking Today

What happened

After NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), a medical device maker focused on minimally invasive spine surgery, reported mixed second-quarter earnings results and announced a shake-up in its executive team, its shares had fallen 11% as of 11:45 a.m. EDT.

So what

Here's a quick review of the headline numbers from NuVasive's second quarter:

  • Sales jumped 10% to $260.6 million. That was just shy of the 2 million in revenue that Wall Street had expected.
  • Adjusted gross margin fell more than 330 percentage points year over year to 74.5%.
  • Cost control measures helped to offset the declining gross margins and helped drive 17% rise in adjusted net income.
  • Adjusted earnings per share was $0.46. That was better than the $0.44 that market watchers had predicted.
  • Management reiterated its full-year 2017 guidance, which calls for revenue of $1.065 billion and $2.00 in adjusted EPS.

While the slight miss on revenue could help to explain the sell-off, the markets were caught off guard by the announcement of sweeping changes to the company's executive team:

  • Jason Hannon, NuVasive's president and COO, is stepping down to "pursue other interests."
  • Matt Link, president of U.S. commercial, is being promoted to executive vice president of strategy, technology, and corporate development.
  • Skip Kiil, executive vice president of international, is being promoted to executive vice president of global commercial.
  • Steve Rozow, vice president of global operations, is being promoted to executive vice president of global process transformation, including IT and RA/QA.
  • Quentin Blackford, NuVasive's CFO, is resigning. The company says his decision is unrelated to the organization changes. Vickie Capps, a board member, is assisting the finance department in the interim and will help the company search for a new CFO.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why all the executive shuffling? CEO Greg Lucier offered up the following commentary to investors:

With incredible opportunities ahead, we are taking steps to refine the company's operating structure to tightly align strategy, product development, and marketing and integrate our global commercial channels, while scaling global operations to best address the growing needs of our partners and patients.

Sudden changes to the executive team have a way of putting shareholders on edge, so it is understandable why some investors are looking for an exit today.

Now what

Looking past the organizational changes, NuVasive's double-digit revenue growth continues to prove that it is having success competing against established industry giants like Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Synthes. What's more, international sales continue to grow at a rate of greater than 20%, which is a bullish sign for investors.

Overall, NuVasive's financial results and guidance should provide shareholders with some reassurance that its growth trajectory remains on track. If you can get comfortable with the sudden executive departures, then today's big drop could be viewed as a timely buying opportunity.

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Brian Feroldi has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Medtronic. The Motley Fool recommends NuVasive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.