It seems the hospital bed business ain’t what she used to be, at least for Stryker Corp.
Slumping sales for its medical/surgical equipment division during the quarter ended March 31 meant the Kalamazoo-based medical products giant needed its orthopedic division to provide some padding.
In January, the company said it expected net earnings per share to be in the range of $3.12 to $3.22, with a 6 percent to 9 percent jump in sales.
Today the company said a more realistic forecast puts those numbers in the $2.90 to $3.10 range, with only a 2 percent to 5 percent increase in sales.
The med/surg division, which derives more than a third of its income from “patient handling and emergency equipment”—stretchers and hospital beds—posted $628 million in sales for the three months ended March 31, down 5 percent compared with $663 million during the same period last year.
Most of that slide was attributable to slow sales for Stryker’s patient handling line; the company’s line of hospital beds is one area where it usually makes some hay, but the line’s sales were down 27 percent in 2009.
In 2008, the division led its division in terms of growth, stretching 18 percent in 2008 on the back of hospital bed sales to maternity wards all over the U.S, Canada, and Latin America, according to a filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sales in Stryker’s orthopedic division were flat at $973 million compared with $971 million during the same period last year.
Predictably, the soft sales dragged down the bottom line. Stryker recorded $289 million in net income for the quarter, down 3.2 percent from the same period in 2008.
Officials blamed the “unprecedented global economic slowdown” for the downshift.
Stryker Biotech has been in the news lately after three of its sales representatives copped guilty pleas to a federal investigation of off-label promotion.