Medtronic Regains Its Footing

When medical apparatus manufacturer Medtronic (NYS: MDT) had come out with its first-quarter earnings a few months back, I had said they are looking set to fly. The company did not disappoint when it released its second-quarter earnings last month, toppling analysts' estimates and sending its shares north.

Now, let's take a closer look at what the company did right and how the road ahead might unfold.

A look at the quarter
Revenue for the quarter went up 6% to $4.13 billion; however, if we exclude gains from foreign exchange, the top line grew some 3%. The sore area in the first quarter for Medtronic was low sales of its heart defibrillators and spinal products in the U.S. because of stiff hospital budgets and concerns over the safety of its implantable cardioverter defibrillator device. However, the company has made up for that by pepping up its new businesses such as the Revo pacemaker and the Resolute drug-eluting stent, which is used to open up arteries.

The net profits came back to their respectable self at $871 million, a jump from $566 million last year when the company had to take a massive charge of $279 million for legal expenses.

Expansion bears fruit
The company's plans of expanding into newer geographies bore fruit as revenue from emerging markets jumped 21% to $414 million. More importantly, it is pleasing to see that Medtronic is doing well to counter the weakness in the U.S. by looking to spread out into international markets, which now account for 44% of its overall revenue.

Medtronic has once again initiated a five-year program where it aims to slash around $1.2 billion in production costs. This will help the company further in its foray into newer markets where the costs aren't as high as that in the U.S. or other developed countries. Medtronic is currently in the last year of its previous five-year plan to cut costs and it has certainly reaped dividends, enabling the company to maintain its margins in the wake of falling prices of medical products.

Dividend dynamo
Another important factor that makes this stock even more enticing is that Medtronic has a history of dividend increases for the past 33 years. And what's more, its dividend yield of 2.7% stands above its peers Stryker (NYS: SYK) , Baxter (NYS: BAX) , and St. Jude Medical (NYS: STJ) . This adds further spice to the stock.

The Foolish takeaway
With its business in the U.S. stabilizing, worldwide expansion in progress, and a cost-cutting move in place, Medtronic will probably reach new heights in years to come. If you are looking for a company with sound fundamentals and a growing business, Medtronic is one stock you should take a look at.

Fool contributor Harsh Chauhan owns none of the stocks mentioned in the article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Medtronic. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Stryker and Intuitive Surgical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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