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Stability in U.S. hospital capital spending and the orthopedic markets will help both Stryker Corp. and Zimmer Holdings Inc. meet analyst expectations for the third quarter, and that could boost company shares, according to an RBC Capital Markets analyst.

Analyst Glenn Novarro said in a Friday research note that sentiment for orthopedic companies remains negative, and investors have little interest in the sector. But depressesd company valuations could lead shares to climb if third-quarter results are positive.

Novarro said he's confident both Stryker, based in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Zimmer, of Warsaw, Ind., can hit consensus forecasts and reiterate 2011 guidance. He expects share repurchases and operational flexibility to help the companies.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect, on average, earnings of 89 cents per share from Stryker and $1.03 from Zimmer.

Stryker met analyst expectations for the second quarter with adjusted earnings of 90 cents per share, and Zimmer surpassed expectations with $1.21 per share.

Shares of Zimmer climbed 16 cents to $53.15 in Friday afternoon trading, while the Dow Jones industrial average climbed about 1 percent. The stock approached $70 in May but has mostly fallen since then.

Stryker shares fell 16 cents to $50.02. Like Zimmer, Stryker's stock peaked earlier this year and then slid sharply in late July when the broader market also fell.

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