C.R. Bard (NYSE: BCR) manufactures medical devices such as stents and catheters. The company leads in market share in nearly all its markets.
Oncology was one of Bard's fastest growing therapeutic areas, with over 19% sales growth. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in developed countries and the third worldwide, and people spend billions of dollars annually on cancer research and treatment.
BCR breaks its operations into four segments: i) Vascular, ii) Urology, iii) Oncology, and iv) Surgical Specialties.
Bard’s leading urology product is the foley catheter, which Bard introduced in 1934. Other urology products include urine monitoring and collection systems, surgical slings (used to treat urinary incontinence), and other devices.
Bard makes a wide range of products for the vascular market, including catheters, stents, accessories, and others.
Bard’s oncology products cover a wide range of devices used in the treatment and management of various cancers, including specialty catheters, ultrasound devices, and feeding devices. 
Bard’s surgical specialty products such as meshes and irrigation devices are primarily used for groin hernia repairs - Bard is the leader in this market segment.
BCR’s revenues are diversified across four operating divisions. BCR doesn’t have huge blockbuster products which contribute a significant amount of revenue, but rather a big diversified portfolio of products.
BCR has had steady growth over the past four years from 2006 to 2009. In 2009, total revenues were $2.53 billion, a modest increase from its previous year's revenues of $2.45 billion. As a result of this increase in total revenues, BCR's 2009 net income rose to $460 million compared to $417 million for the previous year.
Health coverage is an important determining factor when patients and doctors choose among various treatment options. Medicare coverage is particularly significant in that it directly affects over forty million Americans, how much patients have to pay for Bard products, and how much Bard will receive in payments from Medicare. Currently, Medicare and other third party payors are emphasizing more cost-effective products and services, by limiting the reimbursement they will cover. Furthermore, even if a new medical or surgical device is cleared by the FDA, Bard faces limited demand for the device until Medicare and other payors approves it for reimbursement. Both of these factors can affect Bard's sales. Bard's products tend to be less controversial and significantly less expensive than some of its competitors, Medtronic's pace makers for instance, and therefore may be less affected by continuing governmental pressure to cut Medicare costs.
In the U.S. and other developed countries, cancer is responsible for around 25% of all deaths, second only to cardiovascular disease. The most common methods of treatment of Cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (drug therapy), which are often used in conjunction with one another to treat various aspects of cancer. Bard has a wide range of products which are used to treat and manage various aspects of cancer. If the incidence of cancer continues, this could continue to drive sales for the company's Oncology division.
Bard and its competitors are all heavily affected by government regulation, especially by the FDA, which is responsible for regulating food, dietary supplements, drugs, medical devices, and other products in the United States. Without FDA approval, Bard cannot sell any of its medical products to the public. If any of Bard's products fail FDA approval, it can adversely affect the company's sales.
BCR faces formidable competition in all of its business divisions: