2. Fewer elective procedures amid COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic hit orthopedic device companies especially hard financially. The pandemic caused a curtailment of elective procedures — and sometimes even not-so-elective procedures — as health providers focused on managing COVID-19 and patients stayed away in droves. Companies generally reported some procedure recovery in the third quarter, but there may have been more problems in Q4 as an even bigger wave of cases hit the world.
Here are how some of the largest companies performed:
- Stryker’s sales were down –6.2% year-over-year, to more than $10 billion for the first nine months of 2020. Stryker saw sales recover during Q3, though Lobo warned of uneven growth within the company and an uncertain environment amid the pandemic.
- Johnson & Johnson’s orthopedics business saw sales fall –15.1% year-over-year, to roughly $5.6 billion for the first nine months of 2020. Sales were only down –2.6% during Q3.
- Zimmer Biomet sales were down –15.7% year-over-year, to nearly $5 billion for the first nine months of 2020. But there was also some sales recovery in Q3. “While the stronger-than-expected recovery of elective procedures in the third quarter was encouraging, we also remain focused on ZB’s strong operational execution, which continues to drive confidence in our underlying business,” CEO Bryan Hanson said at the time.
- Smith+Nephew’s orthopedics and sports medicine businesses were down about –7.5% year-over-year, to roughly $2.3 billion for the first nine months of 2020. The British medtech giant also saw improved sales performance in Q3.