Biomet narrows loss thanks to DePuy buy

Biomet paid $280 million for DePuy's trauma business last quarter, and the acquisition has already started to pay off as the company narrowed its quarterly loss on a huge sales boost in that unit.

For the quarter ended Aug. 31, Biomet took a loss of $31. 5 million, down from $39.2 million in the same period last year. Sales increaded 6% to $707.4 million on the quarter, buoyed by the infusion of DePuy's trauma business. Biomet saw sales in its trauma unit increase by 192%, contributing to 56% growth in a sports, extremities and trauma (SET) segment that brought in $127.3 million.

"The completion of the trauma acquisition bolsters our SET product category to annualized sales in excess of $500 million in an attractive segment of the orthopaedic market," CEO Jeffery Binder said in a statement. "The team has executed well on the integration, and our investment in building a great SET business is paying off."

However, Biomet's largest segment is hip and knee implants, and that fell 1% to $393 million on the quarter. Binder acknowledged the decline but said that until Biomet sees its competitors' results, it can't be sure whether to blame the market or its own performance.

Biomet reports its results ahead of other big implant makers such as Stryker ($SYK) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), so analysts often look to the company's disclosures as an indicator of where the device market is going. If that holds true, Biomet's slumping joint implants could be a bellwether of lackluster numbers all around.

- here's Biomet's release
- check out the full results (PDF)