Ahead of the Bell: Edwards Lifesciences upgraded

Citi analyst raises Edwards Lifesciences rating to 'buy' from 'neutral,' hikes price target

Associated Press

A depressed stock price and some upcoming product launches are making Edwards Lifesciences an attractive target, according to a Citigroup.

Analyst Amit Bhalla upgraded the heart device maker to "buy" from "neutral" and hiked his price target on the stock to $86 from $75.

While Edwards faces challenges including competition in Europe and a slower U.S. adoption of an important procedure in which a new heart valve is guided to the heart through an artery in the leg, Bhalla thinks that the stock price reflects those risks.

Shares of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. have fallen about 17 percent so far this year, compared to a gain of about 19 percent on the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The stock closed at $75.03 on Tuesday and began to gain traction in late September, when they still traded for under $70.

Shares are up more than 1 percent in premarket trading Wednesday.

Bhalla also sees several upcoming catalysts that could help the company's performance. Edwards is expected to launch a third-generation Sapien valve outside the United States by the end of this year. It should launch a minimally invasive surgical valve next year, when it also could receive another product approval in the United States.

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