Zimmer posts steady midyear growth

For Zimmer ($ZMH), higher net sales in the U.S. and neighboring countries helped counter some declines in the Asia-Pacific region, leading to a 2012 second quarter with solid growth.

The Indiana maker of orthopedic, spinal and trauma devices, dental implants and surgical products reported $1.17 billion in net sales during the quarter, 4% higher than the same period last year. Net earnings also showed a steady increase, hitting the $152.1 million  mark, 3.3% higher than the same period in 2012. For stockholders, that translates to 89 cents diluted earnings per share.

Zimmer President and CEO David Dvorak said in a statement that he sees the results as "strong," reflecting the company's new product offerings and "growth in key geographies."

Zimmer said its Americas region enjoyed a 7% overall growth rate in net sales, versus a 2% decline in the Asia-Pacific region. Broken down, the company's reconstructive and knee businesses saw 5% gains in the Americas, but hip sales dropped 6% in Asia-Pacific countries in which Zimmer does business.

On the other hand, net sales in the extremities division soared 14% overall during the second quarter, and the company's surgical business generated a 24% sales increase, the company said. Trauma revenue, however, remained flat.

Extremities is a smaller segment at Zimmer, but the company is trying to propel the division's growth rate into a higher level through acquisitions. Just last month, Zimmer purchased Germany's Normed Medizin-Technik for an undisclosed price, accessing that company's line of plates and screws for bone reconstruction, fracture repair, fusion procedures and external fixation (for foot-and-ankle and hand-and-wrist reconstruction). Separately, Zimmer also snatched up Pennsylvania's Knee Creations (price not disclosed), giving it a new promising treatment for fluid buildup in the bone marrow beneath cartilage in the knee.

- read the release

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