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Stryker Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

All told, collectively, the strength of our broad-based and geographically diverse revenue model was evident as we remain on track to deliver on our full year financial targets.

Overall, our top line growth, combined with gross margin expansion and ongoing cost controls, translated into adjusted per share earnings of $0.98, up 9%. Encouragingly, our gross margin reflects a traction we are starting to see from our focus on global quality and operations. Recognizing these efforts are still in the early stages but nonetheless, underscore longer-term potential. And our increased focus on cash generation was also evident with Q2 cash from operations totaling $457 million, a marked improvement over Q1.

With respect to the CEO search, the board continues its efforts, which as discussed previously, include reviewing both internal and external candidates. Although not possible to predict the exact timing, the board does anticipate a decision regarding a permanent CEO during 2012.

As we look ahead to the second half of 2012, we are positioned to deliver on both our sales and EPS commitments, reflecting the collective benefit of a number of key new products across our various businesses. This, coupled with an ongoing focus on driving operating margin expansion through improved efficiency and cost controls, is expected to result in 10% or better per share earnings gains in 2012.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Katherine.

Katherine A. Owen

Thanks, Curt. There are 2 topics where I will try and provide some details, including hip and knee pricing and elective procedure trends and an update regarding key new product launches.

Starting with pricing, please note that the press release includes a breakdown of our sales growth by volume mix and price for our 3 key business segments: Reconstructive, MedSurg and Neurotechnology and Spine. As it relates to our U.S. hip and knee pricing, the overall trend improved again this quarter, with mix largely offsetting some pricing pressure. Although difficult to demystify, we view Reconstructive trends as stable to modestly improving as the market appears to be moving toward more normalized rates that are likely in the low-to-mid single digits.

Our assumption for underlying full year global reconstructive growth of not more than 3% we believe remains reasonable, with the U.S. likely to continue to track north of these levels, partly offset by some softness in certain geographies such as Europe.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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