Some folks are breathing easier today because of what Respironics (NASDAQ:RESP) has done for them -- whether that's in the stock market or in the bedroom. A longtime provider of equipment to treat sleep apnea, Respironics continues to serve this market as well as expand into other respiratory and sleep-care markets.

Results for the company's fiscal fourth quarter were on par for the relatively high standard this company has established. Sales were up 21% overall with 14% domestic growth, complemented by 41% growth in overseas markets. The company's core sleep-therapy products continue to perform well, with U.S. sales of this segment growing 18% and foreign sales growing 32%.

Although Respironics is not an especially high-margin company by the standards of the industry, the company did post some modest year-over-year improvement. Gross margins improved by about 1.5 points from the year-ago quarter and the company maintained a part of this on through to the bottom line. Excluding restructuring expenses, the company posted 22% year-over-year earnings growth.

Despite being one of the 20 largest medical device companies in the country (in terms of market capitalization), Respironics doesn't always get as much attention as its size might otherwise warrant. For example, similarly sized companies Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) and Cytyc (NASDAQ:CYTC) both have about half a dozen more analysts following them. No matter, though. Respironics has done well for its shareholders over time and its markets are still poised for growth whether the company is well followed or not.

Not only is the U.S. sleep-therapy market still sufficient to drive growth at least in the mid-teens, but the overseas opportunity is still largely unexploited. Should Respironics succeed in penetrating markets like Japan, as well as developing new therapies, products, and markets for the U.S., growth should be sustainable.

Turning to valuation, it would look like these shares are pretty richly valued at present -- though few large medical stocks other than Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) really look cheap. For a few years now, these shares have traded in a P/E range from the low-to-mid 20s to the low-to-mid 30s. So at a present trailing P/E of 30, there wouldn't look to be a lot of headroom left for the time being. Don't hold your breath, but the history of the past few years would suggest you'll get another chance to buy these shares at a somewhat better valuation.

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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).