I’d expected Safestore to get 2020 off to a flyer with some strong trading details today. And I’m pleased to say I wasn’t left disappointed. It’s not the only exciting growth share that should cheer the market with brilliant financials, however.
I’m certainly expecting a sunny set of trading numbers when Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN) unveils full-year results a week from today (20 February). A string of positive updates helped the medical giant rise 25% in value in 2019. And I reckon that upcoming statement could help it get up and running for 2020.
Smith & Nephew, a world leader in the business of artificial joints and limbs, and increasingly influential in the fast-growing surgical robotics market, certainly impressed market makers last time out in October.
It then advised that third-quarter underlying revenues increased 4% year-on-year. This was up from 3.5% in the prior three months and sprinted past broker expectations. And full-year sales growth guidance was upgraded to between 3.5% and 4.5%.
Smith & Nephew witnessed accelerating momentum across the business in the last reported quarter, with sales rising across all three major units (Orthopaedics, Advanced Wound Management and Sports Medicine & ENT) on an annual basis. Sales across the latter division have been particularly impressive of late. Like-for-like revenue growth of 5.4% here in the first half of 2019 leapt to an even-better 6.9% in quarter three.
Solid uptake of its shoulder repair products in the US has helped to underpin strong progress here. The States are responsible for almost half of group sales, making it the company’s single largest region by turnover. Robust market conditions here are allowing it to offset temporary weakness in its other so-called Established Markets.
What makes me really excited, though, is the rate at which Smith & Nephew’s product is being adopted in its Emerging Markets, and in particular in China. The Footsie business is benefitting from turbocharged healthcare investment in these regions and underlying revenues rocketed 16% year-on-year.
Its rising might in developing territories is only one reason why I’m backing Smith & Nephew to thrive over the next decade. I’m also encouraged by the impact its bold approach to acquisitions is having.
Headline revenues rose 6.5% in the third quarter, a contribution of 3.9% from recent M&A action helping to offset 140 basis points worth of exchange rate headwinds. Terrific acquisitions (like that of regenerative medicine specialist Osiris Therapeutics last April) are allowing it to capitalise on fast-growing and/or underutilised markets. And it has no intention of slowing down. Last month, it bought California’s Tusker Medical, a manufacturer of tympanostomy tubes for the treatment of ear complaints.
City analysts are expecting Smith & Nephew to record meaty profits growth of 8% in 2020 and 9% in 2021. And I’m backing the bottom line to keep ballooning over the next decade. It’s a share fully worthy of a premium P/E ratio of 21.7 times, in my opinion.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.