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Henry Schein's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

I ask that during the Q&A portion of today's call, you limit yourself to a single question and a follow-up before returning to the queue. This will provide the opportunity for as many listeners as possible to ask a question within the one hour we have allotted for this call.

With that said, I would like to turn the call over to Stanley Bergman.

Stanley M. Bergman

Good morning, and thank you, Susan. And thank you, everyone, for joining us. We are delighted to have gained market share in all of our business groups during the fourth quarter and in fact, for the full year of 2011. And in the fourth quarter, we experienced overall middle -- mid-single-digit internal growth and that's adjusting, in fact, reducing the actual sales growth, or sales rate of growth for the extra week. And of course, we complemented the internal growth with growth as a result of strategic acquisitions.

For the year, we are proud that we exceeded $8.5 billion in sales. The team has done a remarkable job in garnering market share growth through internal growth and of course, absorbing the acquisitions that were made in the previous year. If you think about it, we had $6 billion of sales in 2008 and took that to $7.5 billion in 2010. And for the full year of 2011, we had $8.5 billion of sales.

Overall, our view is that the markets we serve are modestly improving. We think we are off the bottom and are growing in all of our markets, and we look forward to the return of historic growth rates, 5% to 6% annually, in the long run as the baby boomer generation understands the importance of preventative care in the medical and dental arena and as the market continues to develop throughout the world with a companion Animal and Equine business. So in a moment, I'll provide some commentary on each of our businesses but first, I'll ask Steve to provide an overview of our quarterly financial results. Thank you. Steve?

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