UPDATE 2-Patterson Q2 profit trails Street; cuts FY09 outlook

jueves 20 de noviembre de 2008 18:04 CET

* Cuts 2009 earnings outlook

* To freeze hiring, except sales force

* To freeze wages

* Q2 EPS, revenue trail Street

* Shares sink to 7-year low in morning trade (Adds analyst's comments, CEO comments, updates share movement)

BANGALORE, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Medical equipment maker Patterson Cos Inc (PDCO.O: Cotización) posted lower-than-expected quarterly profit, cut its 2009 earnings outlook and announced a freeze on its hiring and wages, citing a difficult economic environment.

Shares of the company sank 20 percent to a 7-year low in morning trade on Nasdaq.

The company now expects 2009 earnings of $1.73 to $1.77 a share, down from its prior view of $1.94 cents to $1.98 a share.

The move to freeze wages and hiring was not a major surprise considering the recent job cuts and cost cutting measures by Patterson's major competitor Henry Schein Inc (HSIC.O: Cotización), Robert W. Baird & Co analyst Jeff Johnson said.   Continuación...