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Patterson 4Q profit slips as dental sales decrease

The veterinary and dental products supplier said the results fell short of its own expectations. They also missed Wall Street estimates, and in morning trading, Patterson shares skidded $2.11, or 9.4 percent, to $20.46.

Patterson said its profit decreased to $54 million, or 46 cents per share, from $63.2 million, or 51 cents per share a year ago. Revenue inched up to $779.9 million from $778.4 million. However, analysts were expecting a profit of 50 cents per share and $809.5 million in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

For the quarter ended April 25, revenue from Patterson's dental supply business fell 5 percent to $533.6 million. That included a 2 percent decrease in consumable dental supplies and printed office products, a 10 percent decrease in dental equipment and software revenue, and growth of 4 percent in sales of other services and products, such as technical services, software support service, and artificial teeth.

Revenue from the Webster Veterinary business rose 33 percent to $158.5 million because the company's acquisition of Columbus Serum Co. in October. Patterson said veterinary products are less profitable than its other items, which led to slimmer profit margins.

Revenue from the rehabilitation supply and equipment business fell 9 percent to $87.8 million.

In fiscal 2009, the company's profit fell 11 percent, to $199.6 million from $224.9 million. On a per-share basis, profit was unchanged at $1.69 because the company has fewer shares on the market than it did a year ago. Revenue for the year grew 3 percent, to $3.09 billion from $3 billion.

The company also forecast a smaller-than-expected profit in fiscal 2010.


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