Sirtex Medical Limited shares slammed on shock news

Credit: Sirtex Medical

Shares in Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) have been slammed this afternoon after the company announced the departure of Mike Mangano the boss of its Americas division.

Mr. Mangano will depart at the end of the current financial year on June 30 2016, so Sirtex has plenty of time to select a new recruit and plan the transition, although the market’s reaction in selling down the stock is not unexpected.

Head of Americas is arguably the most important position at the company behind chief executive officer and the news follows on from softer-than-expected dose sales growth reported at the company’s interim results in February.

It’s also worth noting that back in November Sirtex announced the departure of its Asia Pacific Head, Dr Burwood Chew, which means two of the company’s three operating regions have lost their leaders in the last five months.

The company also reported at its half-year results that a dispute with a distributor based in South Korea had resulted in a temporary cessation of sales. Alongside the recent departures this adds to the impression that the company is experiencing some growing pains.

At its recent half-year results the chief executive, Gilman Wong, reconfirmed he still expects the company to deliver at least 19.7% dose sales growth for the full year, although given the stock is down around 20% since the half-year results it seems the market does not share the chief executive’s confidence.

Yesterday, the company announced it has been awarded rights to sell its SIR-Spheres in The Netherlands, with sales expected during the current half and over the long term it also has plans to enter the giant Japanese and Chinese healthcare markets.

If the company is able to deliver at least 19.7% sales growth over the full year the stock is cheap at current prices around $28.80, although the wild card remains the Australian dollar’s potential to keep climbing over the greenback as this would put a big dent in earnings with the majority of revenues earned in North America.

Sirtex then remains a high-risk investment as something of a one-trick pony, however, it retains a strong outlook and despite the management hiccups it could still provide strong long-term returns from today’s valuation.

Other healthcare businesses with leverage to US dollar strength that have been falling in price recently include CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) and ResMed Inc. (CHESS) (ASX: RMD). All three remain quality healthcare businesses and investors would do well to keep them near the top of their watch lists.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of ResMed Inc. and Sirtex Medical Limited.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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