If you think the rally has passed you by, that everything's too expensive, and that's too bad because you would have liked to have played the bonanza that government is creating in the health industry, then I've got a stock for you.
Hansen Medical (NASDAQ:HNSN) is not for the fainthearted, but it can work in the speculative part of your portfolio. From $30 two years ago to less than $3 now, it qualifies as one of the recession's bargain-bin candidates. So far this year, it's down from $8. As far as the price goes, it's cheap among the cheap.
Fine, but is it any good? Everybody knows most things are cheap for a reason. Maybe this one-among-hundreds health industry participant doesn't stand a chance. Let's see.
It's "the global leader in flexible robotics," but I'm sure you already knew that. Its "next-generation robotic catheter system, Sensei X, overcomes the limitations of manual technique by facilitating accurate positioning, manipulation, and stable control of catheter and catheter-based technologies during electrophysiology (EP) procedures." In short, if you're a doctor and you want an easy way to get catheters right where they need to be, Hansen has the flexible robot for you. What doctor involved in any way with catheters can go another day without a placement tool that uses Instinctive Motion?
Never heard of it? Well, it's the firm's proprietary technology that "accurately and responsively translates the physician's hand movements at the motion controller to the robotically controlled steerable catheter in the patient's anatomy." Who wouldn't jump at the chance to drive that? Moreover, who wouldn't jump when it was steered into their anatomy?
Turns out, there's quite a market for such technology. In the last year, for instance, there were 60,000 ablation procedures performed, not including mine. What's that? You haven't heard of ablation? Come on, it's the hottest trend in getting your flip-flopping heart under control, a service widely demanded by investors. If you haven't had trouble with your heart rate, you're not spending enough time in Bernanke's House of Tax-Funded Horrors.
Anyway, according to WebMD, ablation is "used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias." They often happen first thing in the morning when you see that world markets are up dramatically because the G20 says more deficit spending and easy monetary policy are guaranteed forever! Just try to still your wildly beating heart in the face of that headline.
With 60,000 hearts needing a flexible robot driven into them last year alone, Hansen makes the perfect product to go with any stock investor's portfolio. The act of investing in stocks itself is what provides the company's flagship product with so much growth potential, so the greatest way to support the company is to buy its stock, palpitate your heart to the limits of irregularity, then call up 911 and demand to be taken to the best Sensei X driver in the ER. See that? Stealth marketing. In the clapping-seal culture of our time, other investors will see how you handle the arrhythmias caused by too much stimulus on the street, and they'll handle theirs the same way.
That almost guarantees that Sensei X will steal market share from the dastardly Stereotaxis (NASDAQ:STXS), which seems to think its role as current leader was anointed by God. They'll get their comeuppance, alright, and owners of HNSN will get rich in the process. The Sensei X is half the price of Stereotaxis' Niobe system, which is by all accounts the Sony (NYSE:SNE) Walkman of the arrhythmia world - into which the Sensei X is about to stroll, as the iPod of flexible robot-driven heart devices. Who would want anything other than a Sensei X driven into even the least important of their heart chambers? Not me, I promise you that!
This is going to make the Sensei X all but irresistable to smaller hospitals, which will soon be struggling more than ever once Uncle Sam opens the VA to every breathing human in the U.S. and private parts of the health care industry will have to compete with the endless digital money creation whimsies of Ben Bernanke and his buddies in Congress. Profit margins are downright tough to maintain against a federal competitor with no profit motive, and the smaller health outfits are going to need to slash costs everywhere they can. They'll barely think twice before choosing the Sensei X over the antiquated Niobe. One extra reason why is that the Sensei X comes with a movable base to make midnight runs across town easier, something that'll be critical when a local group of clinics can afford only one flexible robot-driven heart device.
If none of that is enough to get your heart twisting out of control even as you read, then surely the fact that Morningstar -- a flawless stock rating organization if ever there was one -- is positive that Hansen is worth $5.50 per share. Be still your beating -- you know where I'm going. From Tuesday's close at $2.73, just getting to Morningstar's fair value -- which is to say nothing of much more than fair value, the place all stocks rush to these days -- would give you a chest-pounding 101% gain. I have to sit down just thinking about it.
If there's anything with an unlimited future in this world of fiat-currency debt exploding lunacy where stock prices rise and jobs disappear, it's heart attacks. The best way to know one's on the way is to feel your heart shaking around uncontrollably. The best way to head off the grim reaper at the pass is to hire a doctor to drive a Sensei X flexible robot into the old thrombo plant.
As daymakers go, it's one of the most reliable.
Author's Disclosure: I own no shares of HNSN.