Med tech companies have found only one reliable way to boost sales--that's to buy them. The only players with sizable sales increases last year were driven by major acquisitions, according to data from Evaluate Medtech.* In fact, only two of the 10 companies as ranked by medical device and diagnostics sales actually had positive sales growth without an acquisition.
Medtronic ($MDT) made the biggest sales gains on the back of its $43 billion acquisition of Covidien--with sales up 43%. Meanwhile, Becton Dickinson's $12 billion buy of CareFusion boosted its sales by 26% last year.
Orthopedics player Stryker ($SYK) fared the best without a big deal on growing sales. But it only grew by 3% to almost $10 billion. Royal Philips ($PHG) eked out a 1% increase on its med tech sales--but it's committed to doing better as it sheds its lighting businesses and devotes itself entirely to HealthTech.
Fairing the worst by far was Siemens ($SIE), which saw med tech sales fall by a whopping 18%. The conglomerate has separated out its Healthcare business as separately run--and it engaged in a rather unfortunate rebrand for it to Siemens Healthineers. Along with the rebrand, that business committed to expanding into services and adding more molecular diagnostics.
Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) saw its med tech sales fall hard too--declining by 9% to a bit more than $25 billion. It kicked off 2016 with a major restructuring of its medical device business--and it's been working hard since to make the case that it can help restore the segment to growth via innovation.
-- Stacy Lawrence (email | Twitter)
*This 2015 med tech top revenues list is based on data provided by Evaluate Medtech. Adjustments have been made to derive the med tech revenues at the conglomerates with the definition of "med tech revenue" including medical devices and diagnostics. The data for companies that use fiscal years has been modified so that the data is for 2015 only, or as close to it as possible.