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What: Medical supplies company ICU Medical (Nasdaq: ICUI ) finds its shares up 12% today after the company reported stellar fourth-quarter results after the bell last night.
So what: ICU Medical blew past analyst expectations in the fourth quarter with a $0.72-per-share profit on $75.6 million in revenue versus consensus estimates of $0.53 on revenue of $70.8 million. ICU Medical attributed much of the jump in earnings to a 460-basis-point increase in its year-over-year gross margins and a favorable product mix. The company forecasts fiscal 2011 revenues and profits will be slightly higher than current analyst expectations.
Now what: All around this was a stellar quarter and another great year for ICU Medical. The key to its success is its gross margins and its push into international markets. Unlike larger rivals Becton, Dickinson (NYSE: BDX ) and Baxter International (NYSE: BAX ) , the company is not regularly followed by many Wall Street analysts, but as I've highlighted before, it pays to keep an eye on these smaller players whose growth and cash-rich balance sheets can ride under the radar. I continue to see the company as a long-term winner and today's results further strengthen that viewpoint.
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