Capital spending vigor may boost scanner sales

November 6, 1991

A Shearson Lehman Brothers survey of hospital financial officerssuggests 1992 will be a strong year for new diagnostic equipmentsales. Demand should be especially brisk for systems designedto meet the needs of smaller community hospitals. The survey

A Shearson Lehman Brothers survey of hospital financial officerssuggests 1992 will be a strong year for new diagnostic equipmentsales. Demand should be especially brisk for systems designedto meet the needs of smaller community hospitals.

The survey results indicate hospital capital spending in theU.S. will rise to $23.6 billion next year, a 15% increase aboveestimated 1991 results (see graph). Total equipment sales willgrow at the same pace to about $12 billion, said Joel Zimmerman,a Shearson Lehman analyst.

Radiology departments will account for a growing share of expenditures,according to the survey results. Radiology will account for about23% of hospital equipment spending this year. About 46% of therespondents expect this percent to climb over the next two years,while 15% predict radiology's share will fall.

Smaller hospitals should be responsible for most of the additionalcapital spending, Zimmerman said. Administrators at facilitieswith fewer than 300 beds plan to increase their 1992 capital spendingby 40%. Equipment expenditures by small hospitals dropped an estimated10.4% this year.

The swing toward increased spending by the smaller facilitiesamply compensates for an anticipated slowdown in capital spendingby hospitals with more than 300 beds, Zimmerman said. Capitalexpenditures at these facilities should increase 9.6% in 1992,compared to an estimated 24.6% increase in 1991.

These results correspond with Shearson Lehman research thatfound that health-care entities raised 16% more money in the firsthalf of 1991 than in the same period in 1990, Zimmerman said.

"Looking solely at new financings by acute-care hospitals,the dollars raised were up 76% over the same period," hesaid.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Alliance Imaging was scheduled to launch its public stockoffering this week. The La Palma, CA, mobile imaging firm delayedthe offering last summer as it waited for better stock marketconditions (SCAN 10/23/91). Alliance will trade on the NASDAQmarket. Company officials took off on their financial road showlast week to discuss the offering with potential investors, accordingto underwriter Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.