Biomet is looking rather nimble. The orthopedics device maker fell shy of first-quarter profit expectations but managed to keep guidance intact. The Warsaw, Ind., company met sales projections for its important reconstructive joint division, though less growth came from high-margin knees than some experts had anticipated. All told, Biomet increased first-quarter revenue by 11% to meet the consensus estimate of $485 million. The company also grew net income by a whopping 66% to $100 million with help from recent acquisitions. But earnings per share of 40 cents still missed Wall Street expectations by a penny. In addition, the company's gross margin -- while clearly strong at 72.3% -- failed to expand as some people had expected. Still, Biomet felt confident enough to reiterate its guidance for the second quarter at least. The company expects to deliver second-quarter earnings of between 42 cents and 44 cents a share. Analysts have already predicted that profits will fall in the middle of that range. For now, Biomet has said nothing about cutting its full-year outlook, as competitor Smith & Nephew ( SNN) did earlier this month. The market -- fearing price cuts on orthopedic implants -- has grown increasingly skittish about the entire group, pushing industry leader Zimmer ( ZMH) down 17% in a matter of just two weeks. Thus, some experts had expected Biomet to cut its 2005 outlook when releasing quarterly results and, like Smith & Nephew, lay at least part of the blame on Hurricane Katrina. Wachovia analyst Theodore Huber, who expected Biomet to hit Wall Street expectations, was among that group. "We remain cautious on Street targets for the balance of FY2006 but note that Katrina offers BMET management an opportunity to lower estimates at little or no cost," Huber wrote on Friday. "The hurricane may provide a 'get-out-of-jail-free' card to BMET." If so, Biomet passed over that chance. As a result, some investors -- noting the silence on full-year guidance -- fear the company could face bigger challenges ahead. In the meantime, Biomet's stock inched up 11 cents to $35.61 ahead of a Wednesday morning conference call that was expected to be dominated by talk of orthopedic pricing trends.