STERIS plc (STE - Free Report) reported first-quarter fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1, up 17.6% year over year and ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 98 cents. Reported EPS came in at 82 cents, up from the year-ago figure of 68 cents.
STERIS generated revenues of $638.8 million in the fiscal first quarter, up 5.1% year over year. Moreover, the top line exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.01%.
Quarter in Detail
Organic revenue growth at constant currency was 5% year over year in the fiscal first quarter, mainly driven by growth across all segments.
The company operates through four segments: Healthcare Products, Healthcare Specialty Services, Applied Sterilization Technologies and Life Sciences.
Revenues at Healthcare Products increased 1% year over year to $292 million (up 4% on a constant currency organic basis). In the quarter under review, service revenues grew 5% and capital equipment revenues rose 2%. However, consumable revenues declined 3% due to divestitures.
STERIS plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Revenues at the Healthcare Specialty Services segment were up 8% to $122.2 million (up 6% on a constant currency organic basis).
Revenues at Applied Sterilization Technologies rose 12% to $139.5 million (up 9%) backed by increased demand from core medical device customers.
Revenues at Life Sciences segment grew 5% to $85 million (up 3%) on 5% growth in service, capital equipment and consumable revenues.
Adjusted gross margin improved 10 basis points (bps) year over year to 42.3% in the reported quarter. Per STERIS, gross margin expansion was supported by a favorable product mix and price along with gains from divestitures. However, currency movements and spending in outsourced reprocessing had an unfavorable impact on the gross margin.
STERIS witnessed a 1.3% year-over-year rise in selling, general and administrative expenses to $158.4 million. Research and development expenses rose 15.7% to $16.2 million. Accordingly, adjusted operating margin expanded 70 bps on a year-over-year basis to 14.8% in the reported quarter.
STERIS exited first-quarter fiscal 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $218.5 million compared with $201.5 million at the end of fiscal 2018. The company had long-term debt of $1.320 billion at the end of the first quarter compared with $1.316 billion at the end of fiscal 2018.
For the first three months of fiscal 2019, the company generated $100.8 million in cash flow from operations, up from $80.7 million in the year-ago period. Further, free cash flow in the same period was $75.8 million compared with $44.2 million a year ago.
2019 Guidance Reiterated
STERIS continues to expect 4-5% of constant currency organic revenue growth in fiscal 2019 from the prior fiscal. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2019 revenues is pegged at $2.74 billion.
Adjusted EPS for fiscal 2019 is projected in the range of $4.63-$4.75. The consensus estimate for fiscal 2019 adjusted EPS lies within the guided range at $4.71.
STERIS exited first-quarter fiscal 2019 on a promising note. We are also encouraged by the favorable underlying market trends along with new product and service offerings. Further, growth in free cash flow reserve is indicative of the company’s strong cash balance. The company has also made certain divestments and organizational changes, which are expected to better align with its operations.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
STERIS has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector which reported solid results this earnings season are Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Free Report) , Chemed Corporation (CHE - Free Report) and Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN - Free Report) . While Intuitive Surgical sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Chemed and Align Technology carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Intuitive Surgical reported second-quarter 2018 adjusted EPS of $2.76, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.48. Revenues totaled $909.3 million, also surpassing the consensus estimate of $870 million.
Chemed reported second-quarter 2018 adjusted EPS of $2.81, which trumped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.68. Revenues of $441.8 million edged past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $432.3 million.
Align Technology posted second-quarter 2018 adjusted EPS of $1.30, steering past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.09. Revenues came in at $490.3 million, beating the consensus estimate of $462.9 million.
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