- Health Services
- Medical Appliances & Equipment
- Medical Instruments & Supplies
- Cash Flow
Atrion’s ability to generate strong cash flows is a key strength that enables the company to deliver consistent growth and profitability and to support ongoing R&D and capital improvements in technology, facilities and equipment. Over the past several years, these investments included new manufacturing machinery and equipment that enhance our ability to meet customer needs with even greater quality, flexibility and efficiency. Our consistent generation of cash flow also enables us to invest in value-creating initiatives such as stock repurchases and dividend payments.
Despite fluctuations in markets, product demand, and the economy, the company has continued to return value to stockholders through consistent, strong earnings growth. Over the past twenty-three years, Atrion attained annual compounded rates of growth of 6% in sales, 15% in operating income, and 17% in EPS—all of which we achieved organically rather than through acquisitions. During this same time period, the company’s stock price increased from $8.00 per share to over $700 per share.
Our return on equity has also steadily increased from five percent in 1999 to 14 percent in 2021. From 1999 to 2021, we repurchased over two million shares of our stock and consistently executed the timely repayment of debt associated with these buybacks. The Company has no outstanding debt as of December 31, 2021. At December 31, 2021 our cash and investments totaled $80.7 million.
Although Atrion is a relatively small company in the medical products arena, a number of our products hold leading market positions in their respective niches, creating a stable and diversified revenue base.
Atrion’s presence in the healthcare and medical products industry is based on providing devices and components to niche markets that offer significant opportunity for product development, market penetration and revenues growth. We work to enhance our position in the markets we serve by:
• Focusing on customer needs
• Expanding existing product lines and developing new products
• Maintaining a culture of controlling cost
• Preserving and fostering a collaborative, entrepreneurial management structure
As a result of this strategy, a number of our most successful products hold the leading market positions in their respective niches, demonstrating that small markets can produce attractive returns. For example, Atrion is a leading U.S. manufacturer of soft contact lens disinfection cases, clamps for IV sets, cardiac surgery vacuum relief valves, minimally invasive surgical tapes, check valves and balloon catheters for the treatment of tear duct blockages. Atrion is also the leading manufacturer of valves and inflation devices used in marine and aviation safety products.
To respond to new market opportunities, we make research and development a continuing priority. During the past five years, we invested $91 million in manufacturing and quality assurance equipment to further bolster our position for the long run.
Supporting a successful and diversified product line is a commitment to financial flexibility and strength. Atrion maintains a steady and consistent focus on managing assets wisely, making products that meet specific market needs, and improving productivity and profitability. As a result, we have delivered consistent growth in earnings per share from continuing operations, while funding the needs of the business and investing in the resources, technology, and assets to ensure operating efficiency and fuel future growth.
Atrion has approximately 400,000 square feet of manufacturing, research and development capacity in three facilities in Alabama, Florida, and Texas. We continually upgrade the manufacturing technology in our plants — automating processes where possible to maximize efficiency and quality control. The result is a seamless development and production system that can respond to new and increasing customer demand.
Atrion is committed to creating continuing value for stockholders. In recent years, the company has completed several stock repurchase programs, aimed at enhancing stockholder value. Since 2003, when we initiated the payment of quarterly dividends on our common stock, we have increased the dividend seventeen times. In August 2021, we boosted the quarterly dividend from $1.75 per share to $1.95 per share.
The development of new products to meet market needs is an ongoing strategy of the company’s, Atrion has developed a line of swabable valve products that minimizes the risk of needle-sticks for medical personnel, and the MPS®3, the third generation of our Myocardial Protection System. The MPS®3 is a proprietary technology that delivers essential fluids and medications to the heart during open-heart surgery providing increased flexibility to the surgeon and enhanced safety to the patient.
Our company’s goal is to continue to build its presence in the medical products industry by leveraging our leadership position in niche markets and by developing new products to meet increasing customer demand for effectiveness, safety and cost. Atrion is committed to building value for the company and its stockholders through continued growth in earnings per share.