If you feel a little static in the air or smell a little ozone, don't worry -- that's just the lightning bolt that hit yours truly on the head this morning.
See, I've been lurking in the weeds with Stryker
Quarterly results were basically in line with the level of performance typical of this company -- which is, to say, very good. Sales were up a bit under 11%, margins improved yet again, and the company delivered better than 14% earnings growth on a reported basis (and better than 21% if you adjust for unusual tax expense and a purchased R&D charge).
Growth was again led by the company's MedSurg equipment business, where sales climbed better than 16% on strong sales of endoscopy products, and there was double-digit growth in instrument sales. Keep in mind, though, that while this business unit is performing very well, it's still only about a third of the company's total revenue.
The larger component is the orthopedics business, where sales climbed a bit less than 8% for the quarter. Hip sales were nothing special (flat with last year), but knees were again pretty strong, with 13% revenue growth. Sales in spinal care were again strong (up 20%), while trauma sales did alright (up 7%) on a combination of strong U.S. results and weaker international performance.
Relative to the two other orthopedics companies that have reported so far (Johnson &Johnson's
It would seem that conditions in orthopedics aren't (yet) as bad as many people feared. There's still reason to be concerned about what major customers like HCA
Apart from all that, maybe there's another important lesson to repeat here. If you try to do what I did with Stryker and wait for the bottom-dollar price to buy in, you might not end up getting to buy the stocks you want. I'm going to hope that the stock eases back after today's run-up, but I'll also accept the possibility that I outsmarted myself here.
For more Foolish Takes on bones and bottom lines:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson owns shares of J&J but has no financial interest in any other stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).