Stryker narrows 2009 forecast, gives 2010 outlook

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Stryker Corp. said Tuesday its sales grew nearly 7 percent in the fourth quarter, and the orthopedic implant maker predicted similar sales growth in 2010.

Total sales increased to $1.83 billion from $1.72 billion, mainly because of favorable foreign currency exchange rates. Orthopedic revenue grew 10 to $1.12 billion, and revenue from the MedSurg equipment sales rose 3 percent to $719 million.

On a geographic basis, U.S. sales rose 3 percent to $1.16 billion, and international sales climbed 15 percent to $676 million.

Excluding the effect of currency, total sales for the quarter rose 2.5 percent.

The company did not give a profit forecast but said its results will include a $43 million gain from settling a patent infringement lawsuit and $70 million in additional tax expenses.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts Stryker to earn 82 cents per share on revenue of $1.8 billion for the quarter. The forecasts usually exclude one-time items.

For the full year, the company narrowed its profit forecast to between $2.94 and $2.96 per share versus a prior range of $2.90 to $3 per share. Both estimates exclude one-time items. Including items, Stryker said its net income will be $2.75 to $2.78 per share for the year, compared with $2.78 in 2008. It said revenue will be unchanged at $6.72 billion.

Currency exchange rates were less favorable to U.S. companies earlier in 2009, as the dollar was stronger. That made U.S. products relatively more expensive. Wall Street was looking for $2.94 per share and $6.69 billion in revenue.

Full-year orthopedic implant revenue grew 4 percent to $4.12 billion, and MedSurg sales slipped 5 percent to $2.6 billion. U.S. sales grew 1 percent to $4.32 billion, while international sales fell 1 percent to $2.41 billion

Looking ahead to 2010, the company expects to earn between $3.20 and $3.30 per share on revenue of $7.06 billion to $7.26 billion. Excluding the effects of foreign currency exchange, it said revenue will grow 5 to 8 percent. Stryker said that current exchange rates would raise its sales by up to 2.5 percent.

Analysts expect a profit of $3.29 per share and $7.2 billion in revenue.

Stryker is scheduled to report its full fourth-quarter results on Jan. 26.