The Kalamazoo, Mich.–based orthopedic device giant — the world’s largest — reported profits of $568 million, or $1.49 per share, on sales of $4.262 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, for a bottom-line slide of –21.7% on sales growth of 3.2% compared with Q4 2019.
Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were $2.81, 26¢ ahead of The Street, where analysts were looking EPS of $2.55 on sales of $4.33 billion.
Orthopedic device companies have been especially hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic as hospitals and patients alike held off on elective procedures. But despite new headwinds from the latest coronavirus wave, Stryker appears to have weathered the tough times better than its competitors. Sales ticked down –3.6%, to $14.351 billion, for all of 2020.
“In spite of COVID-19 outbreaks that intensified through the quarter, our teams showed good resilience and delivered a solid quarter of financial results,” Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo said in a news release.
“As we saw with prior pandemic spikes, the impacts were strongest in the businesses linked to deferrable procedures, but as evidenced by our guidance for 2021, we are optimistic about our prospects for the future,” Lobo said. “The Wright Medical integration is off to a strong start, and we continue to advance innovation across the company.”
Stryker said it expects 2021 organic net sales growth to be in the range of 8% to 10% from 2019, with adjusted net earnings per diluted share in the range of $8.80 to $9.20.
Stryker officials said during this evening’s earnings call that they believe they can meet 2021 projections even if the pandemic stays strong through Q2. “We have enough confidence now with the hospitals being ready to do these procedures as soon as the pandemic starts to subside, as soon as the vaccines start to become more prevalent,” Lobo said.
Stryker’s top management is also optimistic about the recently acquired OrthoSensor and its Verasense intraoperative sensor tech that could further enhance the ortho giant’s Mako robots — and compete with smart knee implant tech expected out of competitor Zimmer Biomet.
“Smart devices and implants will play an important role in the future of orthopedics and the addition of OrthoSensor will allow us to continue to innovate and advanced smart sensor technologies, including intraoperative sensors, wearables and ultimately, smart implants,” Preston Wells, Stryker’s investor relations VP, said during the earnings call.
Investors reacted by sending SYK shares up slightly to $230.75 per share in after-hours trading. MassDevice‘s MedTech 100 Index, which includes stocks of the world’s largest medical device companies, was down slightly today.