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Stryker Corporation - Shareholder/Analyst Call

This slide is a bit of an eye chart, and I'll qualify it. This slide represents all the individual segments that Stryker participates in. So you would expect, on the horizontal axis across the top, that Stryker would have black boxes in every category. So I don't want to be disingenuous here. But what we're attempting to show is that in the 3 categories, Reconstructive, MedSurg, Neurotech and Spine, of the host of competitors across the top, there's no one in those 3 segments that offers the breadth that we offer in those segments. So the message here is when we dive into a segment, we don't dabble, we go all in. And I think that reflects our acquisition of Ascent, and I think it is reflected in our acquisition of Neurovascular. We went after those, get into a new segment and we did it in a market share-leading approach.

This slide represents the company's history. Again, a little bit backward looking in terms of where we've been. You can see sales on the top, a nice, increasing trend even in 2009 in the midst of a very tough economic environment. Adjusted EPS, always climbing. I'm going to jump over dividends. I'll circle back on that in a moment. And R&D has been in a nice, upward trend. Somewhere in the midpoint of that 5% to 6% of sales range that we have historically targeted, in recent years it's been in the higher end of that. And as we've talked about this year, R&D, on a dollar for dollar basis, will essentially be flat with prior year because of the divestiture of the Biotech business and moving those R&D dollars into other parts of the company.

Coming back to dividends, there is a lot of rhetoric right now about capital allocation strategies. The point of this slide, and I'll circle back in a little bit later, we don't feel compelled right now to make any big change in our approach on dividends. We have had a very consistent and measured and, I would argue, aggressive approach on our dividend policy for the last 5 years. And I'll circle back in a little bit later, but I want to tee that up right now.

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