NEW YORK (AP) ¿ A Thomas Weisel Partners analyst swapped his ratings on orthopedic implant makers Zimmer Holdings Inc. and Stryker Corp. Monday, upgrading Zimmer shares to "Overweight" and cutting Stryker stock to "Market Weight." Analyst Raj Denhoy said the two companies should be able to report similar profit and sales growth in 2010 and 2011, but Zimmer shares had become inexpensive compared to those of Stryker of Kalamazoo, Mich. He wrote that Zimmer is moving past regulatory, sales and manufacturing issues that have hurt the Warsaw, Ind., company in the last two years. Denhoy raised his price target on Zimmer stock to $57 per share from $47. The stock has ranged between $30.67 and $74.25 over the last year, and in afternoon trading, shares added $1.12, or 2.4 percent, to $48.36. Stryker shares rose 13 cents to $41.89, below Denhoy's target of $44. The analyst said Stryker's sales are losing some steam and are now closer to other companies in the industry, while Zimmer's growth is picking up, and the company is preparing to launch new products. He believes both companies should report profit growth of about 10 or 11 percent, and sales growth in the mid-single digits over the next two years.
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