One year was all it took to catapult Stryker from a loser to a winner.
The Kalamazoo, MI, company appears to have ironed out the integration challenges with the MAKO robotics-assisted surgical platform that hobbled it last year. In its third quarter, Stryker placed 17 MAKO systems with hospitals, compared with 13 in the second quarter and nine in the first quarter of 2015.
FDA approval of its total knee on the MAKO robotics platform in August helped to increase adoption, and more products are planned. Analysts have also noted that Stryker’s spine business is turning around because it made management changes, undertook some smaller tuck-in acquisitions, and leveraged internal engineering know-how. As of mid-October, Stryker launched 10 new spine products in the preceding 12 months, according to Glenn Novarro, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
Stryker’s performance is notable given that, unlike its competitors that have all chosen to consolidate in the face of marketplace pressures, it has continued to fly solo.