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  • Alex Hattaway

Medtech earnings highlights: Easing of macro pressures, accelerated growth in 2023

Medical device companies spent the final three months of 2022 facing many of the same challenges that curbed growth throughout the year, and the latest round of quarterly results showed that hospital staffing and supply chain woes remain obstacles.

Still, company leaders expressed optimism for accelerated growth in 2023 as macro pressures ease. Here are some of the highlights and trends from the earnings season so far:

  • Dexcom (DXCM) reported a 17% increase in its preliminary fourth-quarter revenue results. The continuous glucose monitoring specialist expects the launch of its G7 system in the U.S. to drive growth of 15% to 20% this year. Dexcom will publish its full results on Thursday.

  • Guardant Health’s (GH) preliminary fourth-quarter sales rose 15% to 17% on the back of demand from its clinical customers. At 36,000, quarterly clinical test volumes beat the estimates of analysts at Goldman Sachs. Guardant will report its full results on Feb. 23.

  • Intuitive Surgical’s (ISRG) net income fell 7% in the fourth quarter and 22% for all of 2022, despite the robotic surgery specialist boosting revenue by high single digits. The company, which is investing in the face of growing competition, expects procedure volumes to rise by 12% to 16% this year.

  • Sales at Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) medtech unit fell 1.2% as COVID-19 disruptions in China drove an 8.6% decline in sales outside of the U.S. and offset growth in the company’s home market. J&J expects companywide sales to rise about 5% this year, while Abiomed to add to its earnings in 2024.

  • 3M (MMM) reported that healthcare sales fell 7% in the fourth quarter as nurse shortages and declining hospital budgets suppressed procedure volumes. The company expects low- to mid-single-digit growth at the healthcare unit this year as it prepares to spin off the business.

  • Fiscal second-quarter revenue rose 16% at ResMed (RMD) as the respiratory care company began to address the supply chain challenges that have prevented it from fully meeting demand created by the recalls at Philips. ResMed expects to meet all demand by the end of the calendar year.

  • GE HealthCare (GEHC) reported 8% revenue growth in the fourth quarter as pricing improved, supply chain pressures eased and markets recovered from COVID-19. The newly independent business forecasts sales to grow 5% to 7% on an organic basis this year.

  • Stryker’s (SYK) revenue increased 11% in the fourth quarter as its emergency care and acute businesses achieved “outsized” growth by working through a backlog of orders. The orthopedic medtech expects sales to grow 7% to 8% organically this year as procedure volumes recover.

  • Sales at Edwards Lifesciences (EW) grew 1% in the fourth quarter as exchange rates wiped out a mid-single-digit increase in underlying transcatheter aortic valve replacement sales. Edwards is forecasting sales will grow 9% to 12% on a constant currency basis as healthcare staffing improves this year. Analysts at William Blair tipped Edwards to meet their growth expectations.

  • Boston Scientific (BSX) recorded a 4% gain in revenue and a 58% rise in net income in the fourth quarter because of higher sales of its cardiovascular and medical/surgical products. Management expects sales to grow 5% to 7% this year. A BTIG analyst said the firm could beat the forecast.

  • Siemens Healthineers (SMMNY) posted revenue that was little changed in its fiscal first quarter as falling sales of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, diagnostic disruption in China and supply chain delays at Varian slowed growth. Healthineers maintained its full-year forecast of 6% to 8% growth, excluding the impact of COVID-19 antigen tests.

  • Revenues at Becton Dickinson (BDX) fell 3% in its fiscal first quarter because of a drop in COVID testing. Excluding the effects of COVID tests and currency, sales increased 5%. Analysts at William Blair said the base business performed better than expected. BD raised its revenue guidance for the full year by about 3% to the range of $19.1 billion to $19.3 billion.

  • Quest Diagnostics (DGX) reported a 15% drop in revenue and a 74% fall in net income in the fourth quarter. Demand for COVID testing beat estimates in the period even as it dropped for the full year, leading Quest to wipe about $150 million off its full-year forecast. Management forecasts sales to fall about 10% in 2023 as declining COVID test sales offset growth in the base business.

  • Zimmer Biomet’s (ZBH) net loss widened despite revenue growing in the low single digits amid continued staffing shortages and supply chain issues. Management expects sales to grow 1.5% to 3.5% this year and is looking to acquire small and mid-size companies to supplement organic growth.

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