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

Henry Schein (HSIC)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 15, 2012 10:00 am ET


Susan Vassallo - Vice President of Corporate Communications

Stanley M. Bergman - Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


Albert J. Rice - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division

Robert P. Jones - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Glen J. Santangelo - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Michael Cherny - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Michael R. Minchak - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Steven Valiquette - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Jeffrey D. Johnson - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Lawrence C. Marsh - Barclays Capital, Research Division



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Henry Schein Fourth Quarter Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded. I would now like to introduce your host for today's call, Susan Vassallo, Henry Schein's Vice President of Corporate Communications. Please go ahead, Susan.

Susan Vassallo

Thank you, operator, and my thanks to each of you for joining us to discuss Henry Schein's fourth quarter results. With me this morning are Stanley Bergman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein; and Steven Paladino, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to state that certain comments made during this call will include information that is forward-looking. As you know, risks and uncertainties involved in the company’s business may affect the matters referred to in forward-looking statements. As a result, the company's performance may differ from those expressed in or indicated by such forward-looking statements. Also, these forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained in Henry Schein's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The content of this conference call contains time-sensitive information that is accurate only as of the date of the live broadcast today, February 15, 2012. Henry Schein undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this call.

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?

Stanley M. Bergman

Thank you, Steven, very much for your update and I'd like to now provide a little bit color on the business units.

So let me begin with the North American Dental business. That's our dental business in the United States and in Canada. The results for our North American Dental business was strong across the board and reflects steady patient traffic to our Dental customers' offices and higher demand for dental equipment. Of course, this was partially driven by the tax incentives that were in effect for 2011.

Internal growth in sales of Dental consumable merchandise in local currencies was 4.8% during the quarter, excluding the extra week. So I think it's best to look at it excluding the extra week, which is solidly ahead of our estimate for the market growth and shows the strength of our Dental franchise here in the United States and in Canada. And our dental equipment results turned positive for the quarter with internal growth in local currencies at 3.8%. Again, if you should take out the extra week and this is after taking out the extra week. And as I noted during our last quarter call, we entered the fourth quarter with a strong backlog of equipment orders, including some that occurred in the -- early in the fourth quarter due to the timing of the end of the third quarter. I think we provided some color on this during the third quarter conference call.

So overall, I think we continue to be happy with our North American Dental businesses. They're doing well, gaining market share. The team has high morale and overall, the management is doing a very good job.

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