January 14, 2015 / 6:03 PM / 4 years ago

Stryker eyes deals, market share growth in Europe

Jan 14 (Reuters) - Orthopedic device and surgical equipment maker Stryker Corp said on Wednesday it is eyeing growth through acquisitions, and has set its sights on improving market share for its products in Europe.

Stryker Chief Executive Kevin Lobo, speaking at the JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco, said the company was in a very strong cash position that would allow it to make acquisitions that are “small, medium or even large.”

“We need to be market leaders in the areas that we choose to play in,” Lobo said. “We’ll look at deals of all different sizes ... to strengthen our position.”

Stryker plans to repatriate some $2 billion in cash held overseas in the second half of 2015.

The company on Tuesday cautioned that the strength of the U.S. dollar versus overseas currencies would take a larger than previously expected toll on 2015 earnings, shaving some 20 cents from per share profit versus its prior view of 10 to 12 cents.

Stryker currently has about two thirds of its total sales in the United States, with about a quarter coming from other developed markets and 8 percent from emerging markets.

Lobo sees Europe as a critical area with room for improving Stryker’s performance, and said he believes the capital spending climate there is improving.

“Our market shares are dramatically lower in Europe than in the U.S., Canada or Japan,” he said. “Our products should be garnering higher market share there.”

Stryker has altered its corporate structure so that operations in Europe will now report directly to the United States.

Despite the challenging environment in some emerging markets, such as Russia, Lobo said Stryker aims to increase its percentage of total sales from developing markets “to get to double digits in the next few years.”

Stryker shares were down $2.20, or 2.3 percent, at $92.02 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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