Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, Stericycle treats medical rubble. A leading medical and pharmaceutical waste management company, Stericycle serves some 528,000 clients worldwide: 16,000 large waste generators (pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, and blood banks) and 512,000 small waste generators (dental and medical offices, veterinary offices, pharmacies, and municipalities). Services include disposing of used needles and expired drugs. Through 175 processing and collection sites and 154 transfer sites, Stericycle treats waste through incineration, autoclaving (using high temperature and pressure to kill pathogens), and electro-thermal-deactivation (using low-frequency radio waves to kill pathogens).
Stericycle holds about 12% of the $15 billion global regulated waste market. Growth in that sector is driven by several factors, including the aging of the world's population, pressure to reduce health costs, expanding environmental and safety regulations, and a shift to off-site treatment in the health care industry. The company has shaped its operations to leverage these trends and maintain its leading position in the medical waste industry.
Key to Stericycle's growth has been its targeted "tuck-in" acquisitions, completing more than 265 acquisitions since 1993. In addition to expanding the range of services and products it provides, Stericycle seeks to grow internationally. Its strategy calls for organically expanding its operations, including its Steri-Safe safety and compliance program, sharps (needles) management service program, pharmaceutical waste disposal, regulated returns and recall management services (for expired or recalled products), and recently acquired patient communication services.
Stericycle also wants to focus on small account customers as part of its growth strategy. Because most of its customers use only one of its current service offerings, the company believes its revenues will increase as they adopt more services.
The strategy has been successful so far for Stericycle, which has been growing steadily for several years. In 2011 it continued to expand both in service offerings and with 45 acquisitions in the US and 11 countries abroad. That year the company completed 21 domestic acquisitions, including the integration of Healthcare Waste Solutions (HWS), which has about 20,000 customers. It enhanced its position internationally as well with 24 acquisitions and moved into Spain for the first time. Stericycle also rolled out its clinical services business in select international markets for medical and dental practices.
With growth fueled by its acquisitions, the company's revenues increased 16%, to $1.7 billion, in 2011 over the previous year. Net income increased about 13%, to $235 million in 2011, compared to $208 million in 2010, despite expenses related to acquisitions, litigation settlements, and restructuring and plant closures. – less