I happened to be at Barnes & Noble a few weeks back savoring my favorite grande Starbucks (yes, “I have to have it”—being the self-admitted caffeine junkie that I am), when the October 27th edition of Forbes, caught my attention.
The cover article, “America’s 200 Best Small Public Companies” piqued my curiosity as to which companies made the list—and whether any of those selected were from the life science sector and just as important—were any from Florida?
In fact, there was one company from Florida that I recognized immediately (there may have been others, but unfortunately, they were not sorted by location) and it was even in the life science sector (what luck!).
Located in Gainesville, Exactech was ranked in the middle of the pack at # 105. The ranking was based on ROE (return on equity), sales growth and profit growth over the past 12 months and 5 years compared with industry peers. The company’s metrics are reasonable with a 5 year average ROE of 12% and an increase in sales growth of 15% (5 year average as well). Revenue in Q3 was up 27% compared to Q3 2007.
Exactech is an orthopedic company that develops, manufactures, markets, distributes and sells orthopaedic implant devices, related surgical instrumentation and biologic services to hospitals and physicians in the United States and internationally. One of the distinctive aspects of the company is their product line of engineered bone graft for reconstructive applications. Exactech is one of those unique companies that blends both biotech (use of biologics) with med device applications. This is turning out to be one of the fastest growing areas in the biomedical field (think also, coronary stents—where you have a mechanical device delivering a specific therapeutic in a targeted manner). The company was also recently ranked (by revenue) in Florida Trend at #112 in the Top 150 Florida Public Companies and at #21 in Florida’s Top High-tech Companies.
For the life science golfers out there, Peter Jacobsen (a 32-year veteran of the PGA Tour with seven wins and a five-year member of the Champions senior tour with two wins, both majors) visited the company in September to sign autographs and show off his new Optetrak knee replacement system made by Exactech. According to the October 2, 2008 Gainesville Sun , Jacobsen is ready to return to the tournament playing. Exactech seems to be showing up everywhere these days—and making a difference.