(Updated) Earlier this week the stock of Edwards Lifesciences tanked after the company announced weak Sapien sales and lowered its sales guidance for the rest of the year. The stock, which had been trading in the low 80s for the past month, dropped a heartbreaking 22% on Wednesday in response to the news and closed at 65 on Thursday.
But Edwards chairman and CEO Michael Mussallem didn’t suffer along with his shareholders. As reported by GuruFocus, Mussallem sold 35,000 shares of his stock on April 10 at 83.37 per share netting him nearly $3 million. Another executive, the corporate VP of Japan and Intercontinental, Huimin Wang, sold 4,850 shares at $81.74 per share.
The dramatic drop in Edwards’ stock is another sign that the market for transcatheter heart valves has not grown as rapidly as many had expected. “Edward’s initial 2013 guidance clearly proved to be overly aggressive on U.S. TAVR sales as capacity constraints and the complexities of bringing a 20+ person team up the learning curve clearly tempered the adoption curve more than expected,” said a Leerink Swann analyst quoted by Bloomberg.
Update: I have been informed by Edwards that the recent sale was part of a predetermined plan to sell shares. Mussallem has sold 35,000 shares each month since June of 2012.