Orthopedic implant and equipment maker Stryker
During the company's second-quarter conference call, CEO Stephen MacMillan said that Stryker is "clearly on track to deliver a seventh straight year of double-digit sales growth." Total sales improved 16% compared with a year ago, with a 14.6% jump in the implant business on particular strength in spine, knee, and "craniomaxillofacial" implants, which Google tells me are related to dentistry. The medical equipment segment led the way with an 18.3% increase.
Growth was also strong domestically, as sales advanced more than 17% for the quarter. International growth was a bit lower but still healthy at 13.6%, with some assistance from a weak dollar. The end result was an earnings gain of 25%, and the sale of a physical therapy business helped boost operating earnings, which were up by 11.5%.
Stryker's growth was indeed "broad and quite balanced," as MacMillan put it, and he's calling for a 20% overall bottom-line increase for the year. If all goes according to plan, sales growth will come in at 12% to 13%, up from previous company guidance of 11% to 13%.
With the benefit of perfect hindsight, the best time to pick up shares in Stryker and rivals Zimmer
As baby boomers age and look to stay active well into their golden years, they likely will increasingly need new hips, knees, help for their spines, and even craniomax-whatever-you-call-them procedures. That bodes well for all competing in the space, and Stryker should be tops on the list because of its stellar growth and prodigious cash flow.
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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.