Stryker Corp., the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based medical equipment and device manufacturer, announced the retirement of its chief financial officer as its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings jumped.
William Jellison, who has been vice president and CFO for three years, will retire after the first quarter. Glenn Boehnlein, who currently serves as group CFO for the company's medical-surgical and neurotechnology segments, will succeed him in April.
Jellison is leaving on a high note in the company's fiscal outlook.
Stryker reported $522 million in fourth-quarter earnings, double what it reported during the fourth quarter last year. That figure excludes charges related to the recall of its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant products, as well as taxes tied to the opening of its European regional headquarters. Earnings were $1.4 billion for the year, up 179% for similar reasons.
Without the recall charges, amortization, restructuring-related activities, tax matters, and acquisition and integration-related charges, adjusted earnings per share were $591 million during the quarter, and $1.9 billion during the year, up just 7.1% and 7.7%, respectively.
Sales were up 3.7% at $2.7 billion for the quarter, and 2.8% for the year at $9.9 billion. Sales growth was positive across all three Stryker segments—orthopedics, medical-surgical, and neurotechnology and spine—with the majority of growth in the medical-surgical and neurotechnology and spine divisions.
Like many organizations that have moved overseas, Stryker's overall sales were negatively affected by foreign currency exchange rates. The company's numbers fell by about 3.2% during the quarter and 4.2% for the year.
Stryker expects sales to grow between 5% and 6% this year, excluding the impact of exchange rates. Adjusted net earnings per diluted share are expected to fall between $1.17 and $1.22 for the first quarter, and $5.50 and $5.70 for the full year. Executives said during a conference call that they expect the suspension of the federal medical-device tax to help with earnings in the coming year.
Stryker may also soon see a windfall from an upcoming court decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear a case in February involving Stryker competitor Zimmer's infringement on Stryker's patent for a wound treatment device. The case questions when a company is eligible to receive triple damages in patent-infringement cases. Companies typically receive triple damages when their patent has been willfully infringed, but there are questions about whether Zimmer willfully infringed on Stryker's patent.