The medical device segment has long been one of consolidation and mergers. The incredibly intense competition within a field that is growing exponentially as the global population ages almost makes it a requirement. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is already in chambers considering the Zimmer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZMH) $13.35 billion deal to merge with Biomet. The European Union has already said they will have a decision on the deal by July 9.
A new research note from the analysts at Leerink point outs that with medical device giant Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT) holding its analysts day Thursday, certain companies are certainly coming to mind when acquisition and strategic alliances are part of the discussion. They also look at companies that have the kind of synergies that would not only benefit a huge player like Medtronic, but would pass muster with the FTC when it came to approval.
Here are four top names that the Leerink team thinks make sense as potential takeover candidates, but also have more than enough merit to stand on their own.
Globus Medical Inc. (NYSE: GMED) is rated Outperform at Leerink and is a solid takeover target with good earnings and a reasonable $2.2 billion market cap. The company is a leading musculoskeletal implant manufacturer, just announced the launch of Monument, a unique anterior lumbar interbody fusion device with a built-in mechanical feature designed to aid in spondylolisthesis reduction. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $26.88. Globus closed Wednesday at $23.38 a share.
NuVasive Inc. (NASDAQ: NUVA) is a popular name when it comes to potential merger or takeover chatter. The company is a global medical device company that is changing spine surgery with minimally disruptive surgical products and procedurally integrated solutions for the spine. NuVasive has a presence in more than 25 countries, where hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide have been treated with its comprehensive portfolio of procedurally integrated solutions. The stock is rated Outperform at Leerink, and the consensus price target is $41.94. Shares ended Wednesday at $33.04
Smith & Nephew PLC (NYSE: SNN) is a stock that looks like a sure target. Three companies, including Medtronic, Stryker and Johnson & Johnson, are said to circling the company. The company develops, manufactures, markets and sells medical devices in the advanced surgical devices and advanced wound management fields worldwide. The company’s Advanced Surgical Devices segment offers orthopaedic reconstruction implants for hip, knee and shoulder joints, as well as ancillary products, such as bone cement and mixing systems used in cemented reconstruction joint surgery. Investors are paid a 1.9% dividend. The consensus price target is $83.61. That has been blown away as more rumors swirled this week and the stock closed at $97.27, up more than 12%.
Wright Medical Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WMGI) is also a stock that may get some consideration from big medical device players. It is a specialty orthopaedic company that provides extremity and biologic solutions that enable clinicians to alleviate pain and restore their patients’ lifestyles. The company is the recognized leader of surgical solutions for the foot and ankle market, one of the fastest growing segments in medical technology, and it markets its products in more than 60 countries worldwide. Rated Outperform at Leerink, it has a consensus price target of $36.17. Wright Medical closed at $29.82.
With at least one of these top companies, the question is not if, but when. The good thing about playing this sort of takeover speculation versus, say, biotech is that these companies are profitable and have in-demand products. They are not counting on a binary home run to make them viable. So even if nothing happens and they remain independent, they are still solid investments for an aggressive portfolio.