* Profit ex-items of $1.14/shr tops estimates by 2 cts
* Net earnings decrease 32.7 pct on charges for hip recall
* Continues to see 2013 earnings of $4.25 to $4.40 a share
* Shares unchanged in after-hours trade
Jan 23 U.S. orthopedic implant maker Stryker
Corp on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings
excluding charges that exceeded analyst estimates as sales of
its hip, knee and spine products improved.
Overall sales rose 5.5 percent in the quarter from a year
ago, rebounding from the third-quarter's sluggish 1 percent
growth rate that resulted from soft pricing, the company said.
Demand for orthopedic devices has slumped in the weak economy as
patients deferred procedures due to lack of insurance or higher
Stryker executives said they were encouraged by sales
momentum for hip and knee products going into 2013.
"At the very least, the market is stable to maybe modestly
improved in the fourth quarter," Stryker Vice President
Katherine Owen said on a conference call with analysts.
Fourth-quarter earnings excluding charges rose 11.8 percent
from a year ago to $436 million, or $1.14 a share.
Analysts had expected $1.12 a share, according to Thomson
Including costs for a previously disclosed recall of hip
products, profit fell almost one-third to $270 million, or 71
cents a share, from $401 million, or $1.05 a share, the year
Net sales in the quarter rose 5.5 percent to $2.3 billion.
Hip sales rose 3.6 percent, knee sales increased 5.4 percent,
trauma sales climbed 10.2 percent, neurotechnology sales surged
12.7 percent, spine sales gained 6.4 percent, and medical and
surgical equipment sales gained 2.4 percent.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company said it continues to
expect full-year 2013 earnings of $4.25 to $4.40 per share.
Stryker shares were unchanged after hours from Wednesday's
close of $61.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.