Biomet said it posted black ink during the 4th quarter and cut its losses for fiscal 2013, reporting a 1.0 % decline in large joint reconstruction sales.
The privately held medical device company, which is said to be considering an IPO or sale, is closely watched as a bellwether for the orthopedic market, which has been bedeviled in recent years by falling procedure volumes for hip and knee replacements.
Biomet reported profits of $20.5 million on sales of $783.9 million for the 3 months ended May 31, representing top-line growth of 6.0%. Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet reported Q4 losses of $389.1 million last year on a nearly $530 million writedown. Excluding that and other 1-time items, adjusted profits were $133.0 million for Q4 2013, up 26.5% compared with $105.1 million in adjusted profits during the same period last year.
For the full fiscal year, losses were $381.7 million on sales of $3.05 billion, for sales growth of 7.6%. Losses declined 16.8% compared with fiscal 2012, according to a press release.
The news helped push share prices up for Biomet’s peers in the orthopedics sector. Wright Medical (NSDQ:WMGI) stock was trading at $27.76 per share as of about 12:20 p.m. today, up 2.2%; shares of Stryker (NYSE:SYK) gained 1.3%, rising to $67.22 apiece; Smith & Nephew (FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN) rose 1.7% to $58.63 per share; and Zimmer (NYSE:ZMH) shares gained 1.4%, reaching $78.24 each.
"Our combined hip and knee constant currency growth of 2% for the year was generally in line with the market – not to our standard of clear above-market growth, but we’re working on the product introductions that we believe will return us to that standard," president & CEO Jeffrey Binder said in prepared remarks. "We believe that our large-joint reconstructive business provides us with a strong and stable base and we disagree strongly with those who believe that there are few opportunities for innovation and differentiation. We’re working hard to prove the naysayers wrong."
Earlier this month reports surfaced that Biomet’s private equity owners were putting the company up for sale or considering an IPO.