UPDATE 2-Cost cuts push Henry Schein profit above Street
* Q4 adj EPS 90 cents beats Street by 2 cents
* Net sales fall 7.5 pct; lags Street
* Cost cuts improve operating margin
* Sees no salary hikes in 2009
* Shares rise more than 3 pct (Recasts; adds background, details, CFO comments, analyst comments; updates share movement)
By Aradhana Aravindan
BANGALORE, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Several cost-cutting measures by Henry Schein (HSIC.O: Cotización) to mitigate the impact of tighter hospital spending helped the medical-products supplier's quarterly profit slide past market estimates, sending its shares up more than 3 percent.
Sales at the company, which distributes diagnostic kits, surgical tools and X-ray equipment in North America and Europe, have taken a hit as healthcare spending has declined in the wake of the global economic downturn and a rise in the U.S. dollar.
Faced with a slowdown in sales, Henry Schein has sought to protect margins by cutting jobs and closing facilities. It is also exiting some low-margin businesses. Continuación...