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Symmetry Boosts Bookwalter Line

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Symmetry Surgical, a subsidiary of orthopedic implants and instruments maker Symmetry Medical, Inc. , launched its Bookwalter Self-Retaining Rotilt Ratchet at the 60th Congress of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) in San Diego. The advanced device is the latest component of the leading Bookwalter Retractor System, which incorporates the best features of the past generation into a single light-weight ratchet with a low-profile design.

The Bookwalter portfolio was developed by Codman & Shurtleff, Inc. (Codman), a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) enterprise, acquired by Symmetry in Dec 2011. Symmetry absorbed Codman’s surgical instrument product line into its hospital direct setup, Specialty Surgical Instrumentation ("SSi"). The integrated direct general surgical instruments operation has been named as Symmetry Surgical.

Since Symmetry Medical’s core Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) Solutions business is facing declining capital spending, as well as procedural and pricing pressure from the weak global orthopedic market, the company is focused on expanding its smaller Symmetry Surgical business.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, revenues from the smaller Symmetry Surgical unit jumped 154% to $28.5 million, buoyed by the acquisition of Codman & Shurtleff, Inc., which contributed roughly $13.1 million to the division’s sales. Revenues also include a one-time purchase of an OEM Solutions client worth $2.9 million. Excluding the acquisition and the one-time purchase, sales increased 10.4% year over year in the quarter.

However, the company currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), as both revenues and earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimates in the fourth quarter of 2012. While we remain pessimistic regarding Symmetry, companies such as Nuvasive Inc. (NUVA - Free Report) and Cyberonics Inc. , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), warrant a look.

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