THE INVESTMENT COLUMN: Strong knee sales carry S&N higher
Friday 04 February 2005
The company makes artificial joints, and a stonking 23 per cent rise in knee sales in the US was the highlight of yesterday's full-year figures. S&N is winning market share in this highly competitive orthopaedics market, having invested in innovative new products and a bigger salesforce. And this in a market which is already growing at 13 per cent a year globally.
S&N shares were volatile last year because of investor scepticism that the orthopaedics market can keep up this cracking pace. S&N and its rivals are routinely pumped for clues that a deceleration might be under way. So far, there are none. Yesterday, the company was insistent that the current rate of growth can continue. An ageing population and the improvement of surgical techniques will stay very powerful long-term drivers of this market.
A couple of financial milestones were passed by S&N in 2004: the orthopaedics division had more than $1bn (pounds 500m) and operating margins across the group as a whole topped 20 per cent as the benefits of its increased scale fed through. Unfortunately, the results were marred by the decline in the dollar (in which most of S&N's earnings are made) and by an pounds 80m provision to cover the cost of replacing 1,200 faulty knees.
Prospects for the current year are strong, and S&N made some bullish forecasts for sales growth and further margin expansion. In orthopaedics, a new hip product is being launched. In keyhole surgery, sales of blades are back on the up. In wound management, a clever, silver ion-based dressing is being given a marketing push.
So, all is set fair still. A buy for the long term.
- 1 Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as the wait continues for Duchess of Cambridge's second child
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...