(Adds details, background, CEO comments)
By Manas Mishra
April 24 (Reuters) - Edwards Lifesciences Corp's first-quarter sales for transcatheter heart valves missed Wall Street targets on Tuesday, as the medical device maker lost market share in Europe to its rival, Medtronic Plc.
The company's shares fell as much as 8.1 percent in after-market trading as sales of its premium non-invasive device, used to replace diseased aortic valves without open-heart surgery, is its biggest growth driver.
"Procedure growth in Europe was double digits this quarter, while our growth was lower due to a year-over-year shift in share to our largest competitor," Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Mussallem said on a call with analysts.
The increasingly competitive market for transcatheter valves is expected to expand from $3 billion currently to $5 billion in 2021 as more types of patients get treated with the valves.
The company's closest rival is Medtronic and analysts expect the entry of Boston Scientific's valve into the market by late 2018 to further heat up the competition.
Edwards Lifesciences said its global sales of the heart valves rose 2.3 percent to $551.5 million in the quarter. However, analysts were expecting a sales of $579.64 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company's net profit fell to $206.6 million, or 96 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a $230.2 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.22 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.11 per share. Net sales rose 1.3 percent to $894.8 million in the quarter.
However, the company's forecast for current quarter adjusted profit of $1.05 to $1.15 per share missed estimates. Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.17 per share.
The company raised its full-year earnings per share forecast range to $4.50-$4.70 from $4.43-$4.63.
Shares of the company were trading lower at $123.58 after the bell. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)