CHICAGO, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Integra Lifesciences (Nasdaq: IART), Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK), Diamond Foods Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: DMND) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG).
Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Integra to Expand with Novation
Recently, Integra Lifesciences (Nasdaq: IART) entered into a three-year deal with Novation, a healthcare supply contracting company. As per the deal, Novation selected Integra to supply its Jarit sterilization containers to the members of VHA Inc., University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) and Provista.
The health care market served by Novation includes acute hospitals and systems, academic medical centers, ambulatory care and physician clinics, home health and long-term care facilities. Currently working with more than 600 suppliers, it offers services to more than 25,000 members of VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), and 5,500 members of Provista.
Earlier in April, Novation entered into supply contracts with Briggs Medical Service Co. of Iowa, Medline Industries of Illinois for Stethoscopes and UK-based Otodynamics Ltd. to supply audiology equipments.
Being a highly-diversified medical products company, Integra generates revenue through its three business segments: Integra NeuroSciences (neurosurgery and neurotrauma), Integra Orthopedics (burn, plastic and reconstructive surgery) and Integra Medical Instruments (basic general and specialty surgical instruments that are typically used in a sterile surgical field).
Key brands that make up the surgical instruments segment include Miltex, Jarit, and Luxtec, Ruggles, and Omni-Tract.
Jarit surgical instruments (acquired earlier in 2003) offer reusable surgical instruments used in virtually all surgical disciplines (laparoscopic, general, cardiovascular, neuro, gynecological, and orthopedic surgical specialties).
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, Integra witnessed a decline of 2.1% year-over-year in revenue for medical instruments. However, in a drive to improve its business, Integra is presently investing to expand its sales distribution and new product development.
During the last quarter, the company reported a 12.9% rise in research and development costs and an 8% hike in selling, general and administrative expenses. In the next 3 to 5 years, Integra expects the Medical Instruments market to record a low-single digit growth.
However, a weaker economy and tighter capital spending continues to challenge the surgical instruments market. In addition, the company, faces direct competition in the Medical Instruments & Supplies industry from major players like Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) and Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK).
Diamond Foods Goes Nuts for Pringles
Diamond Foods Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: DMND) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) signed a definitive agreement whereby Diamond Foods will acquire the Pringles chips business in a transaction worth $2.35 billion.
Pringles is expected to be accretive to earnings immediately and is expected to create maximum value for shareholders.
Pringles is the world's largest potato crisp brand and is available in over 140 countries with manufacturing operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Through this strategic agreement, Pringles will join Diamond Foods' dynamic portfolio of brands, creating a premium snack-focused company with total revenues of approximately $2.4 billion. Pringles also brings with itself a significant global manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure.
After the merger, Diamond Foods' snack business is expected to grow almost three times the current size, thereby increasing its scale in the U.S. grocery, mass merchandise, drug and convenience channels to gain greater merchandising and distribution influence.
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