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Patterson fiscal 1Q profit rises 20 percent

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 4:45am
The Associated Press

Dental and veterinary products supplier Patterson Cos. Inc. said Thursday its fiscal first quarter profit climbed 20 percent, as sales for its two largest businesses rose and the company had an extra week in the quarter.

The St. Paul, Minn., company said its net income rose to $53.9 million, or 45 cents per share, in the three months that ended July 31, up from $45.1 million, or 38 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue climbed 8 percent to $849.8 million from $789.6 million a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, earnings of 44 cents per share on $855.1 million in revenue.

The company said sales from Patterson Dental Supply, its largest business, climbed 6 percent to $542.7 million. That included strong sales growth of basic dental equipment.

"We believe this rebound in basic equipment sales is an indication that the dental market is starting to gradually strengthen," CEO Scott P. Anderson said in a statement from the company.

Sales for the company's Webster Veterinary unit also rose 6 percent in the quarter to $179.6 million. Sales for its rehabilitation and supply unit rose 17 percent to $127.5 million, helped in part by acquisitions and the extra week.

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2011 earnings forecast. It expects earnings per share of $1.89 to $1.99. Analysts expect $1.94 per share.

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