Medtronic Inc.’s (NYSE:MDT) move last week to cancel $2 billion worth of supply contracts with Novation LLC could save the device maker some $60 million a year. It’s a no-brainer for one of med-tech’s biggest players, but it might signal a wider trend: Will the medical device industry buck group purchasing organizations even as hospitals flock to them?
Wall Street Beat
St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) shares are slightly lower today, falling 26 cents to $47.75 after the medical device maker disclosed plans to begin paying a quarterly dividend to shareholders.
The move has the St. Paul, Minn.-based medical device maker joining a gaggle of healthcare firms to initiate or expand payments in recent weeks.
PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE:PKI) shares are now down more than 4 percent today, falling $1.12 to $26.60 after the diagnostics giant flatly denied takeover speculation.
A dip in fourth-quarter net income is starting to catch up with Harvard Bioscience (NSDQ:HBIO) today, with share prices sliding to reverse a modest rally earlier in the day.
HBIO shares were down 6 cents to $4.32 each by roughly 2 p.m. The lab instruments maker this morning reported $2.2 million in fourth-quarter profits on $29.5 million in sales — beating the revenue estimate of the lone analyst tracking the company — and a 6.8 percent increase from year-ago revenues. Earnings per share were 8 cents.
Symmetry Medical (NYSE:SMA) shares are up about 4 percent today to $9.01 each in mid-session trading, despite reporting fourth-quarter earnings below analysts’ expectations last night
That may be due to the Warsaw, Ind.-based orthopedic company’s forecast of 6 percent top-line growth. Revenues could reach as high as $383 million this year, up from $360.8 million in 2010 and just shy of the Wall Street call.
The company also forecast earnings of 57 cents to 65 cents a share, below the average 69 cent EPS predicted by analyst in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA (NYSE:FMS) is getting a small boost this side of the pond, with traders adding about 0.2% to its share price today in modest trading volume after the company forecast 6 percent to 8 percent revenue growth in 2011.
That topped the $12.74 billion average of nine analyst polled by Zacks by at least $60 million this year. Fresenius said earlier today it expects revenue to grow to a range between $12.8 billion to $13.0 billion.
Stryker Corp. (NYSE:SYK) shares are down slightly this afternoon despite a reported upgrade of the stock by UBS from Neutral to Buy.
The UBS analysts also raised their price target for the medical device manufacturer to $70.00 from $62.00, suggesting a potential 13.3 percent gain based on SYK’s current price of $61.85 a share.
Forbes has just published its annual list of America’s richest. The top 10 includes Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, the Koch brothers, a bunch of Waltons, and Michael Bloomberg. They made their money in computer software, investing, manufacturing, retail, and news services. But did any use patents to make their fortunes?