|By PR Newswire||
|August 27, 2014 09:30 AM EDT||
CHICAGO, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the MedTech, including Zimmer Holdings (NYSE:ZMH-Free Report), Medtronic Inc (NYSE:MDT-Free Report), Covidien plc (NYSE:COV-Free Report), Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK-Free Report) and Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN-Free Report).
A confluence of several factors over the past few years has created ferment in the medical device market the world over. The investment climate for the medical device majors has become increasingly difficult due to the global economic downturn resulting in growing regulatory and budgetary pressures, cost escalation and resource constrictions.
The medical devices industry, which was once acclaimed for its high-paying jobs and research and development opportunities, has been subject to the much controversial 2.3% medical device excise tax since its enactment beginning 2013. Sequestration-related spending cuts have also undermined the medical devices industry's prospects. In fact, this has significantly hindered the industry's bottom-line improvement last year.
Does the 2015 HHS Budget Set a Positive Trend?
Healthcare spending has been projected to grow at a rate of 5.8% from 2012 to 2022. However, with the sluggish economic recovery, difficult capital spending environment and weak growth for Medicare and Medicaid, the growth rate in 2013 was pretty low.
However, the $1 billion or 3.5% boost to its fiscal 2014 budget, from the prior-year post-sequestration level, received by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) comes as a slight reprieve. Appropriators say that this hike, though insignificant, is expected to result in 385 million new grant opportunities for researchers compared to 2013. We note that the sequestration, which resulted in a 5.5% cut in the NIH fiscal 2013 budget, led to 640 fewer grants last year.
Apart from NIH, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, The National Science Foundation (NSF), health professions and nursing workforce development programs are some of the others to gain from this bill in 2014. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also managed to get $2.552 billion through this omnibus spending package, a $166 million (7%) increase over the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration funding level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received a $370 million or 6.8% increase over the year-ago post-sequestration funding level.
Nonetheless, the prospects for 2015 still remain bleak. Despite the expected improvement in economic conditions, the expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage and not to forget an aging population, the Budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promises a total of $1 trillion in outlays and $77.1 billion in discretionary budget authority for fiscal 2015 – this is a reduction of $1.3 billion from the current fiscal. Going by this budget, estimated savings over the next 10 years will be as much as $355.6 billion.
However, the budget promises $4.6 billion for health centers, of which $3.6 billion has been financed by the Affordable Care Act's Community Health Center Fund, to serve approximately 31 million patients in 2015. This will lead to the establishment of 150 health centers in new areas of the country.
Besides, $14.6 billion of strategic investment will be made in three key areas: $4 billion in expanded funding for the National Health Service Corps (in addition to $100 million in discretionary funding and $310 million in current law funding for 2015), $5.2 billion for a new Targeted Support for Graduate Medical Education program and $5.4 billion for enhanced Medicaid reimbursements for primary care.
For the second time in a row, NIH managed to increase its budget funding. Although not so significant like it was in the earlier year, the fiscal 2015 budget includes $30.4 billion for the NIH, an increase of $211 million over 2014 reflecting that the government's focus on investment in advanced medical research has not been shaken even in its drive to stimulate economic growth.
For the FDA, the 2015 budget included $29 million for improving the protection of human and animal health through integrated monitoring of antimicrobial resistance. Besides, the budget added $1.5 billion, up $273 million over fiscal 2014, to boost the efforts of the FDA and CDC for implementing the Food Safety and Modernization Act. For the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the budget allocation is $897.3 billion in mandatory and discretionary outlays, a net increase of $54.3 billion above the previous fiscal.
Real Picture Remains Cloudy
Even more than six months after the Senate passed the Omnibus Appropriations bill, the research funding scenario does not look very encouraging. Most economists are of the opinion that with cost of research rising astronomically, the slender boost to the budget can hardly bring any respite. While the additional funding for NIH will help sustain current projects and begin funding for new research grants, this is still short of NIH's pre-sequestration budget.
NIH expects the sequestration (expected to last till 2021) to turn harsher in the coming years leading to serious consequences like delaying progress in medical breakthroughs, deterioration in job creation and tempering of economic growth. An NBC news article recently noted that many new researchers, who were trained with the U.S. taxpayers' money, may have to move to Europe and Asia where government funding for medical research is on the rise.
Moreover, the 2.3% medical devices excise tax, which is imposed on the sales price instead of net profit, amounts to a sizable sum, wiping out almost a quarter of the profit at the med instrument owners.
To weather the squall, medical device companies are coming up with efficient capital allocation and ingenuous business model innovation. In this regard, they are working on reducing fixed costs, conducting research and development prudently and extracting strategic value from intellectual property. The companies are also trying to focus on strategic mergers and acquisitions (M&A), emerging market expansion or are reducing operations in order to weather the tax burden.
MedTech M&A continues unabated in 2014. Wary of an uncertain economy, MedTech giants have resorted to the acquisition route to harness their strengths and diversify offerings.
Following Zimmer Holdings' (NYSE:ZMH-Free Report) $13.35 billion mega acquisition plan of Biomet, Inc., the leading U.S. medical device major Medtronic Inc (NYSE:MDT-Free Report) came up with its plan to buy Irish rival Covidien plc (NYSE:COV-Free Report) for $42.9 billion in cash and stock. This has off late become a common ploy for medical stocks to dodge the steep U.S. corporate tax rate by shifting its tax base overseas. Zimmer, on the other hand, expects the successful completion of the Biomet acquisition to help capture the $45 billion musculoskeletal industry.
In addition to these major impending takeovers, Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK-Free Report) has once again made it to the headlines with rumors of its bid to acquire London-based orthopedic major Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN-Free Report) surfacing again. The investors are still hopeful and expect the acquisition of Smith & Nephew to further boost Stryker's competitive position in the hip and knee replacement market following the $1.65 billion MAKO acquisition.
Besides, Stryker closed the $375 million acquisition of Small Bone Innovations' North American assets in August and acquired the German surgical tools firm, Berchtold Holding in April. On the other hand, In May, Smith & Nephew acquired Arthrocare Corporation for $1.7 billion in order to expand its product line in sports medicines.
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Click here for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
Jan. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,143
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Jan. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,298
Datapipe has acquired GoGrid, a provider of multi-cloud solutions for Big Data deployments. GoGrid’s proprietary orchestration and automation technologies provide 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects. “GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly,” said Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe. “Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the clou...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,536
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:15 PM EST Reads: 3,747
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,931
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,666
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,363
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Jan. 25, 2015 04:30 PM EST Reads: 2,969
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Jan. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,517
SYS-CON Media announced today that PagerDuty has launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done.
Jan. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,318
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
Jan. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,390
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
Jan. 25, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,397
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
Jan. 25, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 2,675
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
Jan. 25, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,171
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 25, 2015 02:45 PM EST Reads: 2,126