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Tickers in this Article: SYK
Stryker (NYSE:SYK) is scheduled to announce its third quarter earnings on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

Investors care about earnings because they drive stock prices. Strong earnings generally result in the stock price moving up and vice versa. SEE: 12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements

What to Expect: Analysts are expecting Stryker to report earnings of 98 cents per share, up 7.7% from a year ago, when the company reported earnings of 91 cents per share.

The consensus estimate hasn't changed in the last month, but it has dropped from $1 three months ago. For the fiscal year, analysts are projecting earnings of $4.09 per share.

Revenue is expected to exceed last year's figure of $2.03 billion by 1.9% and come in at $2.07 billion for the quarter. Stryker is expected to report revenue of $8.63 billion for the fiscal year.

Company Performance: SYK has a P/E ratio of 14.3. The P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

The stock price has fallen slightly over the past quarter to $52.46 from $52.90 on July 16, 2012. Stryker's best recent streak was when its price gained $2.68 per share between September 10, 2012 and September 17, 2012.

The Competition: Stryker is a medical technology firm that produces a range of products in medical implants, surgical technologies and emergency medical equipment. The majority of analysts (14 of 24) give Stryker a buy rating. In the last three months, the number of buy ratings has increased slightly.

The company's closest competitor in the medical equipment and supplies industry is Medtronic (MDT). Analysts are more optimistic about Stryker than about Medtronic. Only 11 out of 22 analysts rate the latter a buy.

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