* Quarterly adjusted EPS $1.51 vs $1.49 expected
* Sales $1.18 billion
* Sees 2013 adjusted EPS between $5.65 and $5.85
* Sees 2013 sales up 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent
Jan 31 Zimmer Holdings Inc on Thursday
reported slightly weaker quarterly net earnings as the
orthopedic device maker continued to trim costs.
The maker of orthopedic implants, surgical instruments,
spinal and dental devices also provided an outlook for the full
year that was within Wall Street's expectations, though some
analysts were skeptical.
Shares dipped $1.27 to $73.16 in early trading on the New
York Stock Exchange, following a 20 percent advance over the
past 6 months.
Fourth-quarter net earnings were $152.8 million or 88 cents
per share, compared with $156.6 million, or 87 cents per share.
There were fewer shares outstanding this year.
Excluding items, adjusted earnings were $1.51, which beat
the average estimate on Wall Street of $1.49, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales were $1.18 billion in the quarter, up from $1.17
billion a year before.
Zimmer said it expected full year earnings, excluding items,
to be between $5.65 and $5.85 per share, bracketing the Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S estimate of $5.73.
The company said it expects sales to rise 2.5 percent to 4.5
percent in 2013, which also meets the Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S
sales estimate of $4.63 billion.
Zimmer executives told analysts on a conference call that
they should focus on the midpoint of the outlook.
David Roman, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, said the
forecast implies improving markets, an assumption with which he
agrees, but also implies strong adoption of its new products.
"We question this," he said in a research note to clients.
"It seems early to conclude that new products can have a
material impact on the revenue outlook. The ramp will likely be
slow, as the company trains physicians, gets instrument sets
into the field, and secures hospital contracts," said Roman, who
has a "neutral" rating on the stock.
"Execution also needs to improve, as we would have expected
better results out of Zimmer given the acceleration in overall
orthopedic volumes this quarter," he added.