Today’s Stock of the Week keeps the health-care industry clean. To find out more about this well-respected and wide-reaching company, read more below.

Surgical Safety

Steris Plc (STE) plays a crucial role in health care, developing and selling infection-prevention and contamination-control devices and supplies ranging from surgical tables and endoscopy accessories to detergents and skin-care products. It also offers related services such as equipment installation and maintenance.

Steris sells not only to hospitals and medical practices but also to pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial and government customers around the world. Steris has a first-rate safety record and a reputation as the best company in its field, yet it still competes on cost—which keeps margins fairly thin but also keeps customers coming back.

Shares were hurt after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, but Steris—although based in England—actually gets about 80% of sales revenue in the US. Total revenue was $2.24 billion in fiscal 2016 and should grow to $2.73 billion in fiscal 2017 and $2.85 billion in fiscal 2018. The dividend of $1.12/share/yr. recently yielded 1.6% and appears secure.

Earnings per share: 2018 est./$3.69… 2017 est./$2.91… 2016/$1.54. (Fiscal year ends March 31.)

This Week’s Expert

young-georgeGeorge Young is co-portfolio manager of the $395 million Villere Balanced Fund (VILLX), New Orleans.