Wright Medical shares jumped by 27%

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Shares of Wright Medical Group Inc jumped by as much as 27 percent on  Friday, 25th April' 08 after the orthopedic device company posted better-than-expected quarterly results, prompting at least one broker upgrade. Leerink Swann raised its rating on the stock to "outperform" from "market perform," citing strong organic growth and expectations for improved operating leverage.

Shares of Wright Medical Group Inc jumped by as much as 27 percent on  Friday, 25th April' 08 after the orthopedic device company posted better-than-expected quarterly results, prompting at least one broker upgrade.

Leerink Swann raised its rating on the stock to "outperform" from "market perform," citing strong organic growth and expectations for improved operating leverage.

After the market closed on Thursday, Wright said its first-quarter net income rose 27 percent, with sales up 19 percent.

"Wright Medical reported one of its best quarters in several years," Morgan Stanley analyst Taylor Harris wrote in a research note, adding that the only negative was that the company didn't raise its full-year forecast because of reduced interest income expected on its cash.

"As we see it, though, management has left itself room for continued upside, and although our earnings forecast is staying unchanged, the quality of earnings is improving. We believe Wright's multiple has ample room to rise," Harris said.

Wright Medical shares continue to trade at lower multiples than its large cap competitors.

"If Wright closes the valuation gap and continues to growth (earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization) at a 20 percent plus clip, we could see meaningful stock price upside from current levels within 12 months time," Harris said.

Wachovia analyst Michael Matson noted that reconstructive implant growth was particularly strong. Sales of knee and hip implants grew by 14 percent 10 percent, respectively, which exceed market growth.

The shares were up $3.28, or 13.3 percent, at $28.02 in late morning Nasdaq trade after hitting $31.49 earlier in the session.