Zimmer 4Q Hit By Spine Charge, But Sales Improve

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Zimmer Holdings Inc.’s (ZMH) fourth-quarter profit slid 78% on a goodwill impairment charge tied to its spinal-products business, but sales grew as the company’s big replacement joint business showed signs of improvement.

The Warsaw, Ind., medical-device maker forecast an improved sales-growth pace for the new year. It also said it is planning restructuring efforts this year aimed at yearly pretax savings of more than $100 million, although costs from implementing that program will weigh on earnings in the near term.

The market for replacement hips and knees has been under pressure as patients .

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