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Schein 4Q rises on animal health, medical sales

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) -- Health care products company Henry Schein Inc. said Wednesday that net income rose 7 percent in the fourth quarter on stronger results for its animal health and medical businesses.

Schein has expanded those businesses through acquisitions in recent years. It said animal health rose 16 percent, mostly because of an increase in sales in North America. Medical revenue edged up 1 percent, and most of that growth also came from North America. Dental sales fell 2.4 percent because of weaker sales of equipment overseas, particularly in Europe. Schein said customers in Germany and the Netherlands were especially cautious.

In the quarter ended Dec. 29 the company earned $112.5 million, or $1.26 per share. That's up from $104.7 million, or $1.15 per share, a year earlier. Sales grew by 3 percent, to $2.41 billion. The company noted that the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was a week shorter than the fourth quarter of 2011.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.21 per share and $2.4 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Dental sales dropped to $1.31 billion. Animal health sales rose to $611.2 million and medical revenue totaled $402.4 million. Schein also reported $81.4 million in technology and service revenue, up from $70.7 million a year earlier.

During the quarter Schein bought C&M Vetlink, a company that distributes pharmaceutical products to veterinarians in Ireland. It bought Australian veterinary products distributor Provet Holdings in early 2011.

For all of 2012 net income rose 6 percent, to $388.1 million, or $4.32 per share, from $367.7 million, or $3.97 per share. Revenue was up 5 percent, to $8.94 billion.

Schein maintained its 2013 forecast for earnings of $4.81 to $4.91 per share. Analysts expect $4.84 per share, on average.

Henry Schein shares lost $1.06 to $89.31 in afternoon trading.