Imaging device stocks lagged in 1997

Shares of medical imaging device companies lagged behind almost all other healthcare sectors in 1997, according to a year-end review of the performance of healthcare stocks conducted by WDI Healthcare Markets Group of Hilton Head, SC. WDI's imaging

Shares of medical imaging device companies lagged behind almost all other healthcare sectors in 1997, according to a year-end review of the performance of healthcare stocks conducted by WDI Healthcare Markets Group of Hilton Head, SC. WDI's imaging devices segment fell 9% for the year, compared with an overall rise of 10% for healthcare stocks in general. Only two healthcare sectors, managed care and diagnostics, turned in worse performances.

The few stellar performers in WDI's imaging devices index included ATL Ultrasound, which rose 48%, and OEC Medical Systems, which climbed 33%. Trex Medical rose 7% and Norland Medical Systems climbed 11%. The index covers 25 public companies, including Acuson, Hologic, Lunar, ADAC Laboratories, and Fischer Imaging.

For most of these firms, it was tough sailing on the stock market, even though the medical imaging market posted a rebound in 1997. Part of the reason for the lower performance is that Wall Street has little patience for companies that turn in financial results even slightly shy of analysts' expectations, according to John Cumming, CEO of WDI.