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3. Stryker (SYK) offers orthopedic implants, as well as medical and surgical equipment. The company's makes implants used in joint replacement, trauma and spinal surgeries, patient handling and emergency medical equipment, endoscopic and communication systems, surgical equipment and surgical navigation systems and other medical devices.

The company has decided to raise its quarterly dividend by 18%, resulting in a quarterly dividend of 21.25 cents per share payable Jan. 31, 2012 to shareholders of record Dec. 29. Moreover, the company has decided to repurchase an additional $500 million common stock. Stryker has a current dividend yield of 1.5% and one-year dividend growth of 20%, according to a recent Bloomberg consensus.

Sales rose 14.9% year-on-year to $2.0 billion during the third quarter of 2011, as compared to $1.8 billion in 2010's same quarter. Net income stood at $327 million, or 84 cents per diluted share, compared to $337 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

For full year 2011, the company estimates net revenue growth of 11% to 12%, vs. the earlier forecast of 11% to 13%. However, the company has raised its adjusted diluted net earnings per share to be in the $3.70 to $3.74 range, compared to the previous view of $3.65 to $3.73, up 11% to 12% from adjusted diluted net earnings per share of $3.33 in 2010.

Of the 35 analysts covering the stock, 80% recommend a buy and the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 25.6% to $61.02 over the next 12 months.

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