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Thermo-Fisher Scientific CEO: U.S. economy is 'very strong'

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

Making medical equipment globally looks like a good business to be in amid a global growth slowdown.

“Everything we are seeing is very strong,” Thermo-Fisher Scientific CEO Marc Casper told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-chief Andy Serwer at the World Economic Forum in Davos Wednesday. “The U.S. economy is very strong.”

Casper was among the few folks in Davos who was upbeat about the economy. BlackRock President Robert Kapito also told Serwer, “I am not leaving Davos without being optimistic — we see growth, we see it slower, but we see growth.”

But Casper added there is a lot to worry about, namely Brexit. However, he remains “bullish” on 2019. China, which makes up about 10% of Thermo Fisher’s overall business ($2.5 billion annual sales), also continues to be a bright spot according to Casper.

“The tariff increases haven’t really affected demand,” Casper said.

Casper’s positive comments should be music to the ears of investors in the $97 billion market-cap medical products company.

Thermo-Fisher Scientific shares have gained an impressive 13% over the past year, dusting the S&P 500’s 7% drop, likely as investors have gravitated to the company’s more defensive business model. The company posted solid 16% sales growth in the third quarter along with a 12% increase in earnings per share.

Also likely further boosting sentiment on the company — Thermo spends some $1 billion a year in R&D. The sizable investment, which amounts to a strong 5% of its total sales, should keep the company producing leading-edge technologies.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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