(Adds company comment from conference call, share price)
July 17 U.S. orthopedics company Stryker Corp on Thursday reported slightly higher second-quarter profit that was in line with Wall Street expectations and said it was always in the market for deals.
The Michigan-based company did not say whether it was seeking the type of "inversion" acquisition that would allow it to re-base abroad, which has become an increasingly popular way to achieve lower corporate tax rates.
"We're always scouring the market and looking at targets," Chief Executive Kevin Lobo told analysts on a conference call.
"We're continually focused on minimizing our tax rate and operating our businesses as effectively as we can and we think we still have good opportunities in the future," he added.
In the most recent such deal in the medical device sector, Medtronic Inc last month agreed to buy Covidien for $43 billion. The move will allow Medtronic to re-domicile to Ireland to take advantage of low corporate tax rates and to access cash overseas without having to pay high repatriation costs.
Stryker posted net profit of $215 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with a profit of $213 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding an assortment of one-time charges, involving product recalls, acquisitions and legal and other costs, Stryker said it earned $1.08 per share, matching analysts' average expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue for the quarter rose 6.8 percent to $2.4 billion, edging past Wall Street estimates of $2.35 billion.
Stryker said it now expects full-year sales growth of 5 percent to 6 percent and adjusted earnings of $4.75 to $4.80 per share, taking down the high end of its previously issued EPS forecast range by 10 cents.
Stryker shares were little changed in after hours trading, falling 2 cents to $81.69 from their New York Stock Exchange close. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Cynthia Osterman)