Stryker Raises Dividend by 15%

Zacks

Stryker Corporation (SYK) announced that its Board has raised its dividend by 15% over the prior year. The Board has declared a quarterly dividend of 30.5 cents per share payable on Apr 30, 2014, to shareholders of record as of Mar 31.

Stryker has also repurchased roughly $317 million worth of stock in 2013, while roughly $700 million is still available for repurchase under the current authorization. With a planned capital allocation strategy in place, Stryker is confident of optimizing its shareholder returns.

The medical technology company recently announced its fourth-quarter 2013 results, with revenues rising 5.6% year over year to $2,468 million, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,444 million.

Stryker reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.23 in the fourth quarter, up 7.9% year over year. The result also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Stryker witnessed solid organic growth, accompanied by improved performance across all the business segments. Europe continued to show momentum, while the U.S. market also contributed significantly towards growth.

Based on the ongoing progress, Stryker expects organic revenue growth for 2014 to be within 4.5% to 6%. To accelerate organic growth, Stryker seeks to undertake more mergers and acquisitions. However, unfavorable foreign exchange is expected to impact the full-year and first-quarter net sales by 1%.

Stryker believes that consistent focus to drive top-line growth, attempts to leverage earnings gains and an effective capital allocation strategy will help it maximize the strength of the balance sheet and eventually enable it to generate healthy cash flow within the business. The robust and the well-diversified product portfolio, is also expected to boost growth prospects for Stryker, going forward.

Currently, Stryker carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Investors interested in the medical products industry can look at other stocks like NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA), Baxter International Inc. (BAX) and Covidien plc (COV). While NUVA carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), COV and BAX hold the same Zacks Rank as Stryker.
 

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