2020 revenue: $14.351B (–3.6%)
Headquarters: Kalamazoo, Mich.
The world’s largest orthopedic device company performed better during the COVID-19 pandemic than other top competitors, many of which saw double-digit percentage drops in revenue in 2020.
Stryker even closed a major M&A deal — its $4.7 billion purchase of Wright Medical, which CEO Kevin Lobo said “helps us toward our goal of achieving category leadership in all areas of our business.” (Lobo described how he managed Stryker through the pandemic during a DeviceTalks Weekly podcast in December.)
When Stryker announced Q4 earnings in January, it predicted that its 2021 organic net sales growth would be in the range of 8% to 10% from 2019 — a projection that Stryker officials thought the company could meet even if the pandemic stays strong through the second quarter.
“We have enough confidence now with the hospitals being ready to do these procedures as soon as the pandemic starts to subside, as soon as the vaccines start to become more prevalent,” Lobo said at the time.
Stryker saw more COVID headwinds in Q1 2021 as another wave of cases hit the U.S. But even as the company missed the Wall Street consensus for the full quarter, it stuck by the 8–10% sales growth projection and even upped its earnings prediction for 2021. Lobo said business picked up meaningfully in the latter part of the quarter.
It helps that Stryker is arguably the dominant player in the robotic ortho surgery space, with the company passing the 1,000 mark for Mako robotic system installations last year. Mako has proven to be a significant growth engine for Stryker as health providers buy all the tools and accessories around the system.
Stryker is also seeking to catch up with Zimmer Biomet in the smart ortho implants space, announcing in January that it had bought privately held OrthoSensor and its Verasense intraoperative sensor tech that could further enhance Mako robots.
Overall, Stryker is facing increased competition from Zimmer Biomet, but it remains in a good spot, according to Newitter at SVB Leerink. “Stryker is still by far the market leader, and it has the leading robotic system on the market.”