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Sirona names new CEO; 4Q profit more than doubles

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Sirona Dental Systems Inc. rose to their highest level ever after the dental supplier named a new CEO and results in its most recent quarter topped analyst expectations.

The New York company promoted its president, Jeffrey Slovin, to CEO. The 48-year-old will take over in February, when Jost Fischer, 58, retires as CEO and chairman. Thomas Jetter, 55, a board member since 2010, will become non-executive chairman.

"The company has been preparing for this change for some time and the incoming CEO is highly experienced with a comprehensive understanding of the business," said Citi analyst Jonathan Beake.

In the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, net income rose to $34.7 million, or 62 cents per share, from $13.8 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Several big charges weighed down the year-ago earnings. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit increased 4 percent, to 71 cents from 68 cents.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $247.4 million from $218.8 million. Sales rose in the U.S. and overseas, with particularly strong growth in Asia.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 70 cents per share on $226.6 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Looking forward, the company predicted profit for the current year that was in line with analysts' expectations. It expects earnings of $3.33 to $3.43 per share, while analysts expect $3.37 per share.

It also predicted that revenue will grow 9 to 11 percent, when stripping out the effect of changing currency values. A stronger dollar cuts into income from overseas; a weaker dollar tends to boost foreign revenue when it's translated back into the dollar.

For all of fiscal 2012, Sirona's revenue grew 8 percent to $524 million. Net income grew 10 percent to $133.8 million, or $2.36 per share

Sirona shares rose $4.33, or 7.6 percent, to $61.40 in afternoon trading. The stock peaked earlier at $63.86, its highest level since the company listed on the Nasdaq in 2006.