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Smith & Nephew Grows AWM Portfolio

Zacks Equity Research

Smith & Nephew’s (SNN) advanced wound care portfolio under the Advanced Wound Management (:AWM) business is expected to get a weighty boost with the recent introduction of its DURAFIBER Ag antimicrobial gelling fiber dressing in the U.S.

The commercialization of this latest offering also bolstered market sentiments. Following the positive news, the stock reached a 52-week high of $62.06 on the day of the announcement (Sep 13). The share price inched up $0.53 (or 0.86%) to close at $62.01, reflecting a healthy return of 10.97% over the last six months.  

The DURAFIBER Ag is already available in the European Union since last year. The commercialization and sales of DURAFIBER line picked up since 2012.

Smith & Nephew’s latest addition to DURAFIBER line of products combines the benefits of silver (Ag) with highly absorbent and gelling fiber filler dressing. The antimicrobial DURAFIBER Ag dressing can be used to treat bacterial infections caused by medium to heavy exuding wounds.

Being a gelling fiber dressing, the broad-spectrum DURAFIBER Ag is firm when wet, thereby improving exudates management for clinicians in the U.S. According to Smith & Nephew, the anti-shrinkage properties of the DURAFIBER Ag dressing combined with the broad-spectrum antimicrobial ensures efficient exudate management. The launch of the cost-effective DURAFIBER Ag underlines Smith & Nephew’s commitment to improved health and economic benefits from its wound care portfolio.

Under AWM, advanced wound care revenues increased 1% to $211 million on the back of improved performance in Europe and significant contributions from emerging countries. We believe that launch of high potential products like DURAFIBER should boost sales in the U.S. going forward.

Notably, the company’s increasing focus on AWM franchise is paying off. On the flip side, the sustained weakness in the orthopedic reconstruction business is a cause of concern. Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we remain on the sidelines for Smith & Nephew, we are positive about Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX), Alere Inc. (ALR) and Exactech Inc. (EXAC). Alere carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) whereas the other two are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.

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