UPDATE 2-Cost cuts push Henry Schein profit above Street

martes 24 de febrero de 2009 18:26 CET

* 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...