Stryker Proves That the Juice Was worth the Squeeze for Mako

Back in 2013, analysts balked at the price Stryker paid to acquire Mako, but the company just reported its strongest robot quarter since the launch of its ever popular surgical robot.

Lacking a crystal ball, we often look to industry analysts for perspective on business developments, like when Stryker threw the market a curveball in 2013 with its $1.65 billion Mako acquisition. The experts characterized the deal as both bold and suprising, and many of them balked at the price at the time. But the company has proven time and again that the juice was worth the squeeze.

In fact, the recent fourth quarter delivered the strongest robot quarter since the launch of Mako, CEO Kevin Lobo said during the company’s earnings call after the market closed Tuesday.

“We finished the year with a healthy order book demonstrating the commercial and clinical success of this highly differentiated technology,” Lobo said, according to SeekingAlpha transcripts of the call.

Katerine Owen, vice president of strategy and investor relations at Stryker, reported during the call that the company sold 89 Mako robots globally in Q4 versus 54 in the comparable quarter a year ago. She noted that 63 of those robots were sold in the United States.

Globally, Stryker has about 860 Mako robots installed and close to 700 of them are installed in U.S. hospitals. The company also recently secured regulatory approval in Japan for the Make partial knee indication, adding to the indications for the total knee and total hip procedures, Owen said.

But it’s not enough to just sell a lot of robots. In order to be truly successful in this space, company’s have to make sure their robot is actually being used. That’s never been a problem for Stryker. Owen reported that U.S. Mako procedures jumped nearly 50% in the quarter to 36,600, bringing the full year total north of 114,000.

Breaking it down by specific use, total knee procedures posted an increase of roughly 59% in Q4 and Owen said that for the full year 2019 Mako knee procedures saw a bump of about 66%, topping 75,000.

By Amanda Pedersen | MD+DI

Image Credit: Stryker

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About Peter Coffaro 779 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager and Distributor. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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