One aspect of the economy that continues to weigh on my mind is demographics. The population is aging and a lot of seniors have money to spend. In fact, as the baby boomers begin to retire, there will be increasing demand on health-related services, as well as quality of life type products.
America has a distinguished track record of turning out very successful healthcare businesses. I’m not referring to managed health organizations, but rather, technology companies that create health care products that really do help people.
One such company that I recently discovered is ResMed Inc. (NYSE/RMD). This company is already a big success, but it looks like it can carry on its distinguished track record of wealth creation for stockholders.
ResMed specializes in making equipment that helps people deal with sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. This is a growth area in the health care industry.
ResMed sells products such as airflow generators, diagnostics, mask systems, headgear and other accessories, humidifiers, and a range of other products that try to help people sleep better.
Although I’m lucky not to have any sleep problems, I have a good friend who struggled for years to get a good night’s rest. He said that his sleep deprivation affected every aspect of his life and after he got a mask system to help his breathing, he could finally sleep well and his quality of life improved dramatically.
In its first quarter of 2006, ResMed generated record revenues of $162.3 million, up an impressive 50% increase over the comparable quarter ended March 31, 2005. Net income grew to $26.36 million, up strongly from net income of $17.88 million in the comparable quarter.
The company has lots of cash, invests heavily in research and development, and boasts a distinguished track record of success, both operationally and on the stock market.
Not surprisingly, the marketplace is aware of these attractive features and you can consider the stock expensively priced. I think, however, that ResMed will stay expensively priced on the stock market because its business is so good.
As I’ve mentioned before in this column, nobody ever went wrong being in the business of helping people. In ResMed’s case, the demographics are right for the company to keep helping people for a long time to come.