LONDON (MarketWatch) — Zimmer Holdings (ZMH 42.63, +0.34, +0.8%) on Thursday said net earnings fell to $202.2 million, or 91 cents a share, in the first quarter from $239.3 million, or $1.02 a share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted net earnings were $210 million, or 95 cents a share, compared to $244.3 million, or $1.04 a share, the previous year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research produced a consensus forecast of 94 cents a share. First-quarter net sales fell 6.3% to $993 million. The Warsaw, Ind.-based maker of orthopedic devices and surgical products reaffirmed 2009 sales and earnings guidance. It expects full-year revenues to grow 1% to 3%. Adjusted earnings are projected to be in a range between $3.85 and $4 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect earnings of $3.88 a share.
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