Over the last few quarters, the Medical Products companies within the broader Medical sector encouraged investors with solid earnings figures despite certain quarterly volatilities. However, this earnings season so far witnessed a slight growth decline amid the ongoing US-China trade dispute and constant regulatory changes. The Zacks Medical Product sector currently carries a Zacks Sector Rank in the bottom 44% (141 of 256 industries).
More precisely, the US-China trade war triggered a short-term downtrend in the Medical Product sector. Albeit a series of recent exemptions (the last one being in September) by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the entire community is anxious about the impact that this downside might reflect on third-quarter results.
According to a survey conducted by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), tariffs will cost Medical Instruments companies nearly $138 million every year. This is likely to get reflected in Medical Instruments companies’ third-quarter results. For Varian Medical Systems (VAR - Free Report) , the tariff exclusions in China induced expenses worth $2 million.
Additionally, persistent regulatory updates across the globe are escalating medical product market uncertainties. For example, earlier this year, the FDA came out with a proposed regulatory framework for AI/ML (machine learning)-based SaMD (software as a medical device), which is currently a thrust area in MedTech. The framework, incorporating more documentation and oversight, is strictly impeding the FDA approval process, making the regulatory pathway slow. Apart from delaying the revenue generation process, this is escalating the industry players’ R&D expenses, weighing on their bottom line in the process. This too is expected to have affected the industry’s third-quarter performance.
Factors Driving Q3 Results
The past few months have been remarkable for the medical device space in terms of R&D. Riding high on the path-breaking inventions like wireless brain sensors, Bluetooth-enabled smart inhalers, artificial pancreas, human-brain pacemaker, electronic skin that displays vital signs of the body, needle-free injections, precision medicine and many more, the medical device space has gone from strength to strength. In this regard, it is significant to note that Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ - Free Report) Medical Device business registered accelerated growth in its recently reported third quarter, banking on multiple product launches within Interventional Solutions. For Edwards Lifesciences (EW - Free Report) , within its new business of the Mitral and Tricuspid Therapies (TMTT) that achieved a CE Mark, PASCAL already started witnessing a solid rollout in Europe during the third quarter.
Solid growth in the emerging markets is expected to be an added positive this reporting cycle. Boosted by the rising medical awareness and economic prosperity, emerging economies are noticing sturdy demand for the medical products. Strikingly, an aging population, relaxed regulations, cheap skilled labor, increasing wealth and the government focus on healthcare infrastructure make these markets a happy hunting ground for the global medical device players. For instance, Boston Scientific’s business from the emerging markets recorded 20% growth in the reported quarter, led by substantial progress in Asia and Latin America. The company currently pins hopes on a much better performance in China, backed by the rollout of SYNERGY in the region.
The latest Earnings Preview predicts the Medical sector to deliver positive surprises this time around but suffer a sequential decline at the same time. For the quarter under review, earnings growth rate is projected at 6.1% on 7.1% revenue increase, indicating a decrease from second-quarter reported earnings growth of 9.8% on 6.6% revenue rise.
What Our Model Says
The proven Zacks model predicts an earnings beat for a company with a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). This combination increases the chances of beating estimates. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Considering the above factors, we take a look at the following five Medical Products behemoths that are set to release earnings results on Nov 5.
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX - Free Report) : BD Medical, a major revenue driver for the company, is expected to boost earnings results for the fiscal fourth quarter. This segment is likely to have benefited from strong year-over-year growth in revenues from needles, syringes and intravenous catheters for medication delivery, prefilled IV flush syringes plus syringes and pen needles for diabetes care (read more: Can BD Medical Drive Becton, Dickinson's (BDX - Free Report) Q4 Earnings?).
Becton, Dickinson and Company has an Earnings ESP of +0.61% and a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
The above combination dims possibilities of an earnings beat this reporting cycle. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (ZBH - Free Report) : The company is likely to have registered strong sales growth in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) regions during the third quarter benefiting from expanding sales organization, better sales execution on the back of more disciplined and rigorous operating mechanisms as well as product launches (read more: What's in the Cards for Zimmer Biomet's (ZBH - Free Report) Q3 Earnings?).
Zimmer Biomet has an Earnings ESP of +0.52% and a Zacks Rank of 4.
Henry Schein, Inc. (HSIC - Free Report) : In the third quarter, Henry Schein is expected to have witnessed solid growth across all segments, namely, Dental, Medical and Technology plus Value-Added Services. Meanwhile, geographically, the company is gaining traction from all regions. We expect this trend to get reflected in the upcoming quarterly results (read more: Can Dental Growth Drive Henry Schein's (HSIC - Free Report) Q3 Earnings?).
Henry Schein has an Earnings ESP of +0.87% and is a #4 Ranked stock.
Insulet Corporation (PODD - Free Report) : Steady global expansion and the unveiling of innovative products like Omnipod DASH and Omnipod Horizon automated insulin delivery system enabled the company to further penetrate the Type 1 and Type 2 insulin dependent diabetes market. Continued strong rollout of the Omnipod DASH system in the United States is expected to have driven third-quarter revenues. Insulet’s robust progress with respect to its four-pillar strategy is also likely to have contributed to the top line.
Insulet has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +64.10%. This combination predicts an earnings beat for the company this time around.
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