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Zimmer profit up slightly, meets expectations

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Orthopedic implant maker Zimmer Holdings Inc. on Thursday reported a fractional increase in first-quarter profit on higher sales in all global regions, particularly the Asia Pacific.

The Warsaw-based company slightly reduced its estimate for full-year earnings because of currency translation changes, however, and its shares fell.

Net earnings for the first three months of 2012 were $209.6 million, or $1.17 per share, up 0.3 percent from $208.9 million, or $1.08 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The company said its adjusted earnings were $1.30 per share, up 8 percent from a year ago and matching the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet Research.

Revenue was $1.14 billion, up 2 percent from $1.12 billion a year ago and in line with analyst estimates.

Zimmer said sales were 10 percent higher in its Asia Pacific region and up 1 percent each in the Americas and Europe.

Sales for most product categories climbed by single-digit percentages, although dental and spine products declined.

Zimmer said its full-year earnings are now expected to be in a range of $4.70 per share to $4.90 per share, down from a range of $4.75 per share to $4.95 per share. It cited foreign currency changes as the reason.

Zimmer stock fell 2 percent Thursday, to $62.07 per share.

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