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Ahead of the Bell: Edwards Lifesciences tumbles

Shares of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. sank Tuesday before the market opened and a day after the company said its third-quarter revenue fell short of expectations.

The Irvine, Calif. company said Monday after markets closed that its total revenue rose 9 percent to $448 million, well short of its initial forecast for $465 million to $485 million. It said sales of Sapien heart valves totaled about $124 million, including $55 million in U.S. revenue. Both totals also missed company expectations.

Analysts expected Edwards to report $476.5 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The Sapien valve is designed to replace diseased aortic valves. The Food and Drug Administration approved the Sapien valve in November, and Medicare agreed to cover Sapien surgical procedures in May.

Company shares tumbled $18.16, or 16.9 percent, to $89.25 in in premarket trading Tuesday.

"With the stock previously priced for perfection and trading at all-time highs, this revenue miss is problematic for the momentum players and should create a far more compelling entry point for valuation-sensitive investors," William Blair analyst Ben Andrew said in a Tuesday morning research note.

Andrew said a sequential decline in Sapien heart valve sales from $62 million to $55 million was surprising, but it was probably due more to a timing issue rather than "an indictment of the market opportunity."