You kinda have to wonder what's going on with pharmaceutical and drug delivery company Hospira
Whatever the cause, today was one of the good days. In place of an expectation of negative sales performance, Hospira squeaked out 0.3% growth and -- by its self-contrived formula of excluding certain sales items -- the growth of "core sales" was in excess of 10%. Margins improved notably, and adjusted earnings performance was well ahead of the analyst "consensaguess."
I was certainly pleased to see that margin improvement. Ever since this company separated from Abbott Labs,
Through no real fault of their own, Hospira operates in something of a backwater of health care investment, alongside other solid, but not spectacular, companies like Baxter
Maybe Hospira's current valuation doesn't make it a "gem," but that's not really within its control. Return on capital is within its control, however, and that looks pretty good to me; at a bare minimum the company is earning back its cost of capital with a little room to spare. While the stock of this company may have a few more spills, thrills, and chills than you'd otherwise think it should, there's a base of solid growth at the foundation of this story.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).