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Zimmer Rolls Out V2F System

Zacks Equity Research

Recently, Zimmer Holdings Inc. (ZMH) introduced its first lateral plate system for the spinal trauma segment titled Zimmer V2F Anterior Fixation System. The company’s new implant system can be used as a remedy for thoracolumbar burst fractures, tumors, disc degeneration and other pathologies of the anterior spine.

Zimmer’s V2F system, built on the company’s proprietary technology, includes a wide range of plates and screws to suit the varying anatomy of the thoracolumbar spine. The system offers flexibility for placement of screws at different angles to fit the patient’s anatomical structure. Based on the unique variable-to-fixed screw and cap technology, the V2F system is expected to improve patient outcomes.

The company currently enjoys 3% share in the $9 billion spinal market. This is expected to improve going forward as Zimmer is working on portfolio expansion and works to gain a foothold in the emerging markets.

We note that revenues from spinal products (accounting for approximately 5% of total revenues) have been languishing over the last few quarters. We are encouraged by Zimmer’s attempt to expand its spinal portfolio to provide some cushion to its struggling sales.

Neutral on Zimmer

Given the challenging macroeconomic conditions, the company’s strategy of new product launches, employment of new technologies and expansion into emerging markets is likely to pay off. Its peers in the reconstructive market Smith & Nephew (SNN) and Stryker Corporation (SYK) have adopted the inorganic route to battle macroeconomic headwinds.

The situation is expected to improve as procedural deferrals reduce with time. As the situation gradually improves, Zimmer is well poised in the industry to reap the benefits of a recovering economy. Given the lack of positive driving events, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Though we remain non-committal on this provider of reconstructive implant and trauma products we look forward to other players in the orthopedic space such as Hanger Orthopedic (HGR) which carries Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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