It's funny how sweeping predictions can be wrong, but still lead to the right conclusions.
Take the case of orthopedics company Biomet
Reported revenue rose 5% (8% excluding currency), with double-digit growth overseas. While reconstructive products sold reasonably well (up 10%), the company's fixation and spinal business is still performing poorly, with growth of just 2% and 3%, respectively.
Profitability was likewise less than stellar. True, reported net income and earnings per share were up by double-digit amounts on a reported basis, but if you adjust the year-ago numbers for certain acquisition-related items, growth was in the single digits.
I suppose the bright side of this is that the company is still growing. Worldwide knee sales were 9% higher this quarter, hip sales were 11% higher, and the company still has technology that should keep it competitive in a market with some attractive long-term fundamentals.
Of course, there's always the risk that things will get worse before they get better. Medtronic
If you're looking for best-of-breed in orthopedics, you probably want Stryker
All the same, just remember that good products and a robust market opportunity (all those creaky baby boomer knees and hips) don't guarantee success.
For more limber Foolishness:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).