By several measures, medical device supplier Teleflex
Teleflex sells mainly medical devices used in critical care and surgery. The company holds patents on many of its products, and a strategy change in the past few years means it will be inventing more of its own devices in the future. Teleflex has been selling its major aerospace and industrial businesses to focus strictly on medical devices. The company's recent quarterly earnings reports show decent performance in the parts of the business Teleflex plans to keep. Revenues in its medical division were up about 3% over the comparable quarter a year ago. Earnings, while skewed in parts by divestitures, are generally are trending in the right direction.
About 87% of Teleflex's operating profits now come from medical devices, and it's working to get to 100%. Without the non-medical operations, Teleflex says its operating profit margins can gain about 25% and return on equity another 15% over the next five years. Gains in both areas are necessary to make the company a competitive investment in the medical devices sector.
Teleflex plans to more than make up for the revenue losses from its non-medical divestitures taking the cash from those sales and pouring it into acquisitions of smaller medical device companies. It will also boost its research and development spending about 5% for more, higher profit, patented products. About 50% of Teleflex's medical sales are outside of the United States, where the company says demand for its products is growing much faster. Current expansion in Brazil, China and throughout the Asia Pacific region is expected to ramp up these revenues.
While the potential for faster growth certainly adds to Teleflex's appeal, it's the low share valuation that makes it a particularly attractive now. Teleflex trades at lower ratios to earnings and sales than other medical device companies.
The interest in the shares so far this year indicates this undervaluation may not last long. Although the company's share performance over the past five years generally was middling compared to competitors, it has outperformed much of the sector since January.
Teleflex's remake is an opportunity to get in on an established medical devices company -- a rebounding sector with growth potential -- for the price of the diversified company it once was. Once the transformation is complete, it may become more like many of the other companies in the medical devices sector: too expensive to justify.
Dee Gill is an editor for the YCharts Pro Investor Service.
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