Devices & Diagnostics

Zacks Investment Research downgrades SurModics stock

No shocker here, but Zacks Investment Research is not high on SurModics Inc. (NASDAQ:SRDX), the device/drug company based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Zacks this week lowered its rating on SurModics shares to “underperform” from “neutral.” In other words, the research firm is telling investors to sell the stock “following its disappointing showing in the final quarter of 2010.

No shocker here, but Zacks Investment Research is not high on SurModics Inc. (NASDAQ:SRDX), the device/drug company based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

But then again, who is?

Zacks this week lowered its rating on SurModics shares to “underperform” from “neutral.” In other words, the research firm is telling investors to sell the stock “following its disappointing showing in the final quarter of 2010.

“The below-par showing was attributable to a sharp decline in revenues across all segments,” Zacks said. “SurModics decided to trim its workforce and implement an organizational restructuring in order to serve its customers better. Unless the move works in the desired direction, we see no reason to own the stock at current levels.”

For the year, SurModics lost $21.1 million on revenue of $69.9 million compared to a profit of $37.5 million on revenue of $121.5 million the previous 12 months. The company’s big bets on ophthalmology, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics have so far failed to pay off.

Ramius LLC, the alternative investment arm of Cowen & Co., recently purchased a 12 percent stake in SurModics. The firm said it’s nominating three candidates to SurModics’ board of directors, apparently with the hopes of influencing the selection of the next CEO. The company has been without a permanent top executive since pushing out Bruce Barclay in June.

The only positive thing I can say about the Zacks downgrade is it hardly matters: so few people own the stock anyway.