UPDATE 2-Stryker quarterly profit just short of Street estimate

Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:44pm EDT

* 3rd quarter adjusted EPS $0.97 vs Street view $0.98

* Sales rise 1 pct

* 2012, 2013 earnings estimates lowered

* Shares fall 2 percent afte -hours

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Orthopedic implant maker Stryker Corp said third-quarter sales rose just 1 percent on soft pricing and unfavorable foreign currency rates and it now expects lower earnings for the rest of this year and 2013.

The company forecast full-year 2012 and 2013 earnings below Wall Street's estimates, and its shares fell more than 2 percent in after-hours trading.

"We expect market conditions to remain challenging in Europe and for capital equipment, and as a result we are lowering our earnings outlook for 2012 and 2013," Kevin Lobo, Stryker's chief executive, said in a statement.

Stryker, which makes artificial hips and knees, as well as hospital beds and surgical instruments, earned 97 cents a share, excluding one-time charges. Analysts on average expected 98 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales totaled $2.05 billion, just short of the $2.07 billion forecast by analysts.

Stryker said sales volumes rose, but price decreases cut the total by 0.9 percent and unfavorable currency exchange rates lopped off another 1.9 percent.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company expects full-year adjusted earnings of $4.04 to $4.07 per share for 2012 and $4.25 to $4.40 for 2013.

Analysts had projected 2012 adjusted earnings of $4.09 per share and 2013 EPS of $4.45.

Stryker said, if currency exchange rates hold near current levels, it expects a negative impact of as much as 1 percent on fourth-quarter sales.

Third-quarter sales of reconstructive joints, including hips and knees, fell 1.1 percent, while net sales of medical and surgical instruments rose 1.7 percent and neurotechnology and spine net sales rose 4.7 percent.

The orthopedic implant sector was especially hard hit in the economic downturn as patients delayed elective medical procedures, either because they lacked insurance, faced higher out-of-pocket costs with the insurance they had, or feared taking time off from work.

Stryker's net profit for the third quarter totaled $383.5 million, or 92 cents per share, compared with $388.4 million, or 84 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company's shares, which closed at $52.82 on the New York Stock Exchange, were trading at $51.60 after hours.

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