UPDATE 1-Patterson Q4 below Street, sees weak 2010; shares fall

jueves 21 de mayo de 2009 16:34 CEST

* Q4 EPS $0.46 vs est $0.50

* Sees 2010 EPS $1.70-$1.80 vs. est $1.85

* Shares fall 11 percent

May 21 (Reuters) - Dental equipment distributor Patterson Cos Inc (PDCO.O: Cotización) reported lower-than-expected quarterly results as sales fell at two of its key businesses, and the company forecast a weak fiscal 2010, sending its shares down 11 percent.

For the fourth quarter ended April 25, net income was $54.0 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with $63.2 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was $779.9 million.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 50 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $803.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales at the dental supply segment, the company's largest business, fell 5 percent to $533.5 million, while that at its rehabilitation supply and equipment unit fell 9 percent to $87.8 million.

For 2010, the company forecast earnings of $1.70 to $1.80 a share. Analysts were expecting $1.85.

"We believe that weakness in the general economy will continue to affect our performance for at least several more quarters," Chief Executive James Wiltz said in a statement.

Shares of Patterson fell 11 percent to $20.14 in morning trade on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)