Stryker wins Deal of the Year for buying Novadaq

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Stryker Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYK) $700 million purchase of surgical imaging technology provider Novadaq, signals the medical device maker’s prowess in wielding M&A not just to grow existing businesses but also to enter new markets.

Over the last three years, Stryker has spent nearly $6 billion to buy more than a dozen companies, enabling the company to outperform competitors in terms of growth, according to analysts. The company paid about $831 million on acquisitions in 2017 alone, according to regulatory filings. Stryker has made 20 deals over the last five years. Stryker posted about $12.4 billion in revenue in 2017, up from $11.3 billion in 2016. Its gross profit rose from nearly $7.5 billion in 2016 to almost $8.2 billion in 2017.

Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Stryker is a leader in surgical equipment, neurovascular products and orthopedic implants, and many of its acquisitions have expanded the company’s presence in existing markets. But its 2017 standout purchase of Novadaq signaled the company’s willingness to expand into new markets through M&A.

Novadaq develops and sells medical imaging and therapeutic devices that is used in operating rooms. The company’s technology is used to visualize blood vessels, nerves and the lymphatic system during surgical procedures. Novadaq is known for producing the Spy, Pinpoint and Luna brands. Piper Jaffray Cos. (NYSE; PJC) served as lead financial advisor to Novadaq in the sale.

“I am very pleased with the initial integration of Novadaq. And certainly getting the sales force all lined up early in 2018 as probably one of the fastest integrations we’ve had since I’ve been at Stryker,” Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo told analysts. Lobo joined Stryker in 2011 and was appointed CEO in 2012. He previously held roles at KPMG, Unilever, Kraft Heinz Co. (Nasdaq: KHC) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

At the end of 2017, Stryker moved into another new market when it announced a $662 million deal for Entellus, which makes devices for the ear, nose and throat (ENT) treatment, an area in which Stryker had not previously held a significant presence. That deal was completed on Feb. 28. In 2017, Stryker agreed to buy Vexim of Balma, France, for about $223 million. Vexim is known for making spinal implants under the SpineJack brand.

Stryker is a high quality dividend growth stock with a long growth runway ahead, say analysts. That is because the demand for hip and knee replacements, Stryker’s core products, is expected to rise as Americans live longer. Knee replacement surgeries are expected to soar by 673 percent through 2030, according to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, while hip replacements are expected to rise by 174 percent through the same time period. The joint replacement market is expected to be worth around $35 billion by 2022.

Stryker is going to remain aggressive in looking for acquisitions in markets it has little to no presence in. “So we have multiple divisions with their own business development teams that are constantly scanning the market for deals,” adds Lobo.

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