Wright Medical Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of orthopedic equipment maker Wright Medical Group (NAS: WMGI) were more wrong than right today, falling as much as 15.3% on tremendously heavy volume.

So what: The company just reported a loss in the third quarter on weak sales and lowered both top- and bottom-line guidance for the coming quarter. The loss was expected; the slow revenue and timid outlook weren't.

Now what: Wright is running under brand-new CEO Bob Palmisano, whose predecessor resigned under scandalous circumstances after playing fast and loose with a government settlement. Wright is now somewhat leaner and meaner with smaller expenses and a reduced product portfolio. Is that good enough to pull off a turnaround while fighting off much larger, better-known, and largely scandal-free ortho expertsStryker (NYS: SYK) , Zimmer (NYS: ZMH) , and Smith & Nephew (NYS: SNN) ? Only time will tell, but the deck seems stacked against Mr. Palmisano.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Zimmer Holdings. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Smith & Nephew and Stryker. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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