Medical device manufacturer Medtronic (MDT) - Get Report has been working hard to capitalize on an aging population taking advantage of current health care laws to get new implantable devices and other products the company offers.
The company has also been growing through acquisitions, most notably its buying Irish rival Covidien for $43 billion in 2014. This merger not only expanded Medtronic's portfolio and geographic footprint but gave it some important tax advantages.
How has Medtronic done? We'll find out when the company reports fiscal third-quarter earnings early Tuesday.
At $78, shares are up 2.7% for the year so far compared with a 4.5% decline in the S&P 500 (SPX) index for the same period.
Medtronic is positioning itself to capitalize on multiple fronts on global health care. To that end, buying its shares today gives you a front-row seat for a two- to five-year growth opportunity.
For the quarter that ended in January, analysts, on average, expect Medtronic to earn $1.06 a share on revenue of $6.99 billion, marking a year-over-year decline of 6% in earnings, while revenue is expected to rise 61.8% from the year-ago quarter. For the full year, ending in April, earnings are projected to climb 2.3% year over year to $4.38, while revenue of $28.78 billion would mark a 42% rise from the year-ago quarter.
Right away, it should stand out that revenue for the quarter and full year are projected to surge at 62% and 42%, respectively. Medtronic's $43 billion acquisition of Covidien has had a lot to do with those robust numbers. Thanks to Covidien's assets, Medtronic has become more diversified, expanding its capabilities in areas like weight-loss surgery to complement its strengths in markets like insulin pumps and spinal implants.
In its second quarter, the company's revenue surged 62%, while operating income climbed 26%. At some point, those numbers will begin to slow. But with the U.S. revenue accounting for some 60% of the Medtronic's total revenue, Medtronic's decision to expand internationally makes sense. And Covidien, which has solid share in areas like Europe and emerging markets, will help Medtronic expand.
Given these factors, it would seem the market is still discounting the stock, which is priced at just 15 times fiscal 2017 estimates of $4.87 a share, compared to a forward price to earnings multiple of 17 for the S&P 500 index. Not to mention, those estimates imply almost 12% earnings growth.
This would explain why MDT has a consensus buy rating and an average 12-month price target of $87.50, suggesting 15% gains from current levels. Combined with its 38-cent quarterly dividend that yields 2.02% annually, that's excellent value.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.