Medtronic closed out major medtechs' earnings season last week with results that beat Wall Street's expectations — building on a year of consensus-topping performances from large-cap peers like Stryker and Edwards Lifesciences.
Major medtechs' 2019 revenue performance
|Company||Q1 vs. Street rev. forecast||Q2 vs. Street rev. forecast||Q3 vs. Street rev. forecast||Q3 revenues (millions of U.S. dollars)||Approx. YOY % reported rev. growth|
|Baxter||Beat||Beat||Miss||2,851||Not given due to accounting investigation|
|Johnson & Johnson||Beat||Beat||Beat||6,383*||-3%|
SOURCE: Consensus Wall Street forecasts compiled by Seeking Alpha.
Quarters are based on calendar year 2019 and don't necessarily align with individual companies' fiscal year labels.
*Abbott revenues based on Medical Devices and Diagnostics unit only; Johnson & Johnson revenues based on Medical Devices unit only.
Markets for orthopaedic, cardiovascular and diabetes devices continued to stand out. "For a lot of these areas, consumption remained healthy," Baird analyst Jeff Johnson told MedTech Dive.
In addition to a boost from an extra selling day during the third quarter, much of the industry's success may be attributed to robustness in the broader economy. Medtech has benefited from a low unemployment rate, Johnson said, which translates to more people with insurance who feel comfortable scheduling procedures.
In fact, large-cap medtech stocks are trading above the S&P 500 and are approaching decade highs, according to analysis by Needham & Company's Mike Matson.
Some of that boost may be due to investors wanting healthcare exposure without necessarily investing in drugs. Medtech is "perceived as a healthier, safer within the healthcare sector," Matson said. Particularly as recession speculation swirling this year, medtech was lifted by investors moving into defensive stocks, he added.
And despite concerns about adverse effects from the U.S.-China trade war on the industry, for most medtechs it's had a merely tempered impact on results. While it's hurting margins a little, Matson told MedTech Dive, not a lot of finished products come out of China, making its impact "not big enough to cause missed numbers."