Improving procedure markets
The recession took a toll on discretionary orthopedic surgery as cost conscious patients moved to the sidelines, and higher unemployment reduced work and recreation related injuries.
Better days may be ahead
Zimmer's smaller businesses are growing quickly too. Zimmer extremities segment sales are up 43% since 2009, reaching $194 million last year thanks to 11% growth in demand for shoulder and elbow products. That's an impressive advance, but more impressive is the 55% growth in Zimmer's surgical product sales, which climbed to $432 million in 2013. Sales of Zimmer's trauma and dental products are also up double digits since 2009, and improvement across all these businesses more than makes up for the 20% drop in spine revenue during the period.
Fool-worthy final thoughts
Zimmer's sales grew more than 3% in 2013, generating adjusted earnings per share of $5.75, up 8.5% from 2012.