Zimmer(NYSE:ZMH) is a leading orthopedic medical devices company with the top worldwide market share in both hip and knee implants. ZMH also competes in the spine, dental and trauma areas in the orthopedic industry. The company was spun off from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) in 2001 and has grown significantly through organic growth and through acquisitions such as Centerpulse (2003), the leading European orthopedics company and Implex Corp (2004), a NJ based orthopaedics company.
Zimmer's primary customers include orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, oral surgeons, dentists, hospitals, stocking distributors, healthcare dealers and, in their capacity as agents, healthcare purchasing organizations or buying groups. These customers vary greatly in size, and may range from large multinational enterprises to independent surgeons.
Underpinning Zimmer, and other orthopedic implant manufacturers, is a market that is supported by favorable demographic trends for orthopedic treatments. Furthermore, the increase in Obesity and related health issues continue to drive demand for orthopedic implant related surgeries. Zimmer primarily competes with Stryker (SYK), JOHNSON & JOHNSON (JNJ)’s DePuy subsidiary, Smith & Nephew SNATS (SNN) , and Biomet (BMET).
Zimmer's products include joint and dental reconstructive orthopaedic implants, spinal implants, trauma products, and related orthopaedic surgical products.
Zimmer operates in more than 25 countries and markets products in more than 100 countries. Its corporate headquarters are in Warsaw, Indiana, and it has over 100 manufacturing, distribution and warehousing and/or office facilities worldwide. The company breaks its operations into three major geographic segments — the Americas, which is comprised principally of the United States and includes other North, Central and South American markets; Europe, which is comprised principally of Europe and includes the Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific, which is comprised primarily of Japan and Australia and includes other Asian and Pacific markets.
Zimmer breaks its operations into three geographic regions: i) Americas, ii) Europe, and iii) Asia Pacific.
The Americas is Zimmer's largest segment, accounting for $2.372 billion of the company's 2009 net sales. Within the Americas segment, the United States accounted for 94% of net sales in this region.
The European geographic segment accounted for $1.12 billion of 2009 net sales. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom combined represented over 75% of net sales in the region. This segment also includes other key markets, including Benelux, Nordic, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Asia Pacific geographic segment accounted for $603.8 million of 2009 net sales, with Japan being the largest market within this segment. This segment also includes key markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Health coverage is an important determining factor when patients and doctors choose among various treatment options. Medicare coverage is particularly significant in that it directly affects over forty million Americans, how much patients have to pay for Zimmer products, and how much Zimmer will receive in payments from Medicare. Currently, Medicare and other third party payors are emphasizing more cost-effective products and therapies, by limiting the reimbursement they will cover. Furthermore, even if a new ZMH implant or product is cleared by the FDA, Zimmer faces limited demand until Medicare and other payors approve it for reimbursement. Both of these factors can affect Zimmer's sales.
Zimmer and its competitors are all heavily affected by government regulation, especially by the FDA, which is responsible for regulating food, dietary supplements, drugs, medical devices, and other products in the United States. Without FDA approval, Zimmer cannot sell any of its implants or most other products to the public. If any of Zimmer's devices fail FDA approval, it can adversely affect the company's sales.
The percentage of the US, European, Japanese and other regions population over age 65 is expected to nearly double by the year 2030. Zimmer and other orthopedic companies are benefiting from this aging demographic since knee and hip joints tend to wear out and need replacement with age. Also, older patients tend to have higher discretionary incomes and can afford expensive implant surgeries. This could drive sales for ZMH.
In 2010, more than a third of American adults were obese, and this trend seems likely to continue. The hip and knee implant markets are in particular affected by the prevalence of obesity -- increased weight puts significantly more pressure on joints than they are designed for, making them wear out faster. This drives up demand for joint replacements and could benefit ZMH's sales.
Zimmer faces competition from firms such as: