* Q3 EPS $0.38 in line with Street
* Sales fall 4.5 pct to $8.7 bln, lags Street
* Operating income drops 3 pct
* Operating expenses down 6.5 pct
May 4 (Reuters) - Food distributor Sysco Corp (SYY.N) posted third-quarter earnings in line with Wall Street expectations, despite missing the revenue consensus, as operating expenses fell on reduced headcount and lower incentive compensation.
"Our third quarter results reflect the increasingly difficult market environment that has developed as our fiscal year has progressed," Chief Executive Bill DeLaney said in a statement.
Operating expenses were down $85 million in the quarter.
The company, which distributes food and other supplies to restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service outlets, said it sees capital expenditures to be $500 million to $550 million in fiscal 2009.
For the third quarter ended March 28, Sysco earned $226.2 million compared with $240.9 million a year earlier.
Houston-based Sysco's shares closed at $24.35 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
For related alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB2500] (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)