Continuing a strong earnings season for many medical device makers, VIASYS Healthcare
The keys to these lights-out numbers were strong revenue growth in the respiratory and clinical segments, as well as improved margins in the neurocare segment. For the year, revenue for the respiratory segment grew 30% because of acquisitions and new sales of VIASYS' portable mechanical ventilators to states' departments of health. The clinical services business doubled its revenues and operating earnings for the year. For neurocare, operating income increased more than 400% as margins improved from 1% to 7%. VIASYS attributed this success to reduced expenses as well as improved operating efficiencies.
None of the company's segments suffered in 2006, and management said it expects the same this year, too. It's projecting 8% to 10% revenue growth and 12% to 15% earnings growth, and given VIASYS' track record in expansion and product development, these projections are plausible.
The company has made eight acquisitions over the past two years, including two sleep therapeutic companies recently. The sleep therapy market is proving to be quite lucrative, as seen in the 23% net income growth experienced by Respironics
But VIASYS is bringing its own new products to market, too. Just last month, the Food and Drug Administration approved the company's new screening device used to detect lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control projects that lung disease will be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. by 2020. Shareholders are hoping that this breakthrough, coupled with management's acquisition strategy, will be able to fuel the stock's recent momentum for the rest of the year so that they all can sleep soundly.
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