Investment firm accuses Stryker of overpaying for acquisitions, 'anomalies' in reporting

Carly Behm -  

An investment management company's claims about Stryker's acquisitions, robotics guidance and other business operations sparked an investigation from a stockholder rights law firm.

Spruce Point Capital on April 6 shared an investment opinion with accusations that Stryker has a history of overpaying in acquisitions, including its $4 billion deal with Wright Medical. 

The firm also found "historical anomalies" with unit reporting for Stryker's Mako joint replacement robot. After an initial growth period from 2017-19, Stryker stopped providing quarterly information about Mako, the opinion said.

In response to Spruce Point Capital's opinion, law firm Bragar Eagel & Squire is investigating the claims and whether Stryker violated federal securities laws and whether it engaged in unlawful business practices, according to an April 8 news release. Additional claims involve Stryker's COVID-19 response, inventory accounting and margin reporting.

The law firm is investigating claims that Stryker "failed to disclose inventory accounting challenges and made various changes to accounting policies designed to flatter its performance, using greater Non-GAAP adjustments to portray margin stability and earnings growth," the release said.

A spokesperson for Stryker said in an April 11 email to Becker's that the company is "open to engaging with other stakeholders in a constructive manner."

Note: This article was updated April 11 to include a statement from Stryker.

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