Why Steris Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Steris (NYSE: STE  )  -- a manufacturer of infection prevention, contamination control, and surgical support products for the health-care industry -- jumped as much as 10% after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

So what: For the quarter, Steris' shareholders witnessed revenue increase by 10% to $428.2 million as EPS shrank modestly to $0.70 from $0.76 in the year-ago period. Although Steris blamed European weakness and the medical device excise tax for its weaker bottom-line results, both figures topped the $406 million in revenue and $0.65 in EPS that the Street had been expecting. The biggest boost came from the company's life sciences segment, which saw operating income grow by 14%. For the upcoming year, Steris issued guidance calling for revenue growth of 8%-10% (implying $1.62 billion to $1.65 billion) and EPS of $2.47-$2.60. Current consensus estimates are for revenue of $1.57 billion and EPS of $2.49.

Now what: This was yet another earnings beat from every aspect for the usually steady Steris. Admittedly, the medical device excise tax is taking an unwanted bite out of Steris' profitability, but the mere fact that as baby boomers age Steris' products will only grow in demand makes the company an attractive option over the long run. With a yield of 1.7%, I'd suggest digging more deeply into Steris on any sizable pullback.

Craving more input? Start by adding Steris to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

While you can certainly make huge gains in device makers like Steris, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.


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