UPDATE 2-Patterson wins back confidence as results beat Street

jueves 19 de febrero de 2009 17:25 CET

* Q3 EPS 45 cents beats Street by 1 cent

* Sales rise 4 pct to $811 mln

* Solid dental-equipment sales buck low expectations

* Shares jump as much as 13 pct (Recasts; adds background, details, analysts' comments; updates stock movement)

By Aradhana Aravindan

BANGALORE, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Dental supplies and equipment distributor Patterson Cos Inc's (PDCO.O: Cotización) quarterly profit edged past market estimates, restoring confidence in investors who were expecting a weak performance in the face of tighter hospital spending.

The company's stable performance in the quarter was reassuring, William Blair analyst John Kreger said. But he maintained a "market perform" rating on Patterson's stock on concerns related to equipment-buying trends over the next few quarters.

Many hospitals and doctors are curtailing their medical-equipment purchases to preserve cash amid tough credit conditions.

But Patterson's sales of dental equipment and software rose 5 percent for the third quarter ended Jan. 24.   Continuación...