Friday, January 9, 2009

Hansen Medical (HNSN) Coverage Begins

I am now covering Hansen Medical (HNSN) at this blog and at OpenIcon. That means that I plan to write a summary of Hansen's quarterly analyst conferences. Hansen announced preliminary results for its fourth quarter (Q4) of 2008 today, but that gives no where near the insight of the full presentation to analysts that should take place later this month.

Hansen makes robotic catheters. That interests me because it combines my interest in robotics (and machine intelligence) with with my interest in biotechnology. Also, I am going to start covering Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) [See also my Intuitive Surgical analyst conferences page], which has a great business model and has made some investors very happy. I don't own stock in either Intuitive or Hansen, but if their prices remain in the bargain basement and I like what I learn from further scrutiny, I am likely to pick them up at some point this year. That won't effect the stock price either way because I currently play with very small sums of money.

Hansen's rapid growth did not continue in Q4, but they did not do badly either. They shipped 11 Sensei systems and revenues will be above $7 million. Given the financial turmoil in Q4, I think anything above zero shipments should give investors confidence in the long-term prospects of the company. Hansen's main difficulty is that it is losing money while trying to grow. At some point if margins do not improve on increased sales, money is going to have to come from outside. If it comes through a stock sale, that will hurt current investors. Borrowing money, if it is even possible, involves its own risks.

I'll know a lot more and hope to share my first Hansen Medical analyst conference summary with you soon.

Keep diversified!

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