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PATTERSON DENTAL COMPANY REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS ROSE 43 PERCENT

 MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing the benefits of higher sales, Patterson Dental Company (NASDAQ: PDCO) reported net income for the first quarter of fiscal 1994 rose 43.0 percent compared to the first quarter of fiscal 1993.
 "With our largest competitor in the United States, Healthco International, having ceased its domestic operations and local and regional companies holding a larger part of our industry, Patterson Dental has an excellent opportunity to continue to increase market share," said Peter L. Frechette, president and chief executive officer, in announcing the results. "With our ongoing realignment of distribution facilities and value-added services, Patterson is positioned to realize significant profitability gains as sales grow."
 For the quarter ended July 31, 1993, Patterson Dental had net income of $4.4 million or 30 cents per share vs. net income of $3.1 million or 23 cents per share for the quarter ended July 25, 1992. Earnings per share for the quarter ended July 31, 1993, reflect an additional 2 million common shares resulting from the company's initial public offering in October 1992.
 Net sales were $101.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 1994, up 24.1 percent from $82.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Management noted that the first quarter of fiscal 1994 had 14 weeks compared to 13 weeks in the first quarter of fiscal 1993, which contributed to an 8 percent increase in sales. Sales from the approximately 70 sales representatives hired from Healthco, which declared bankruptcy in June, contributed to a 5 percent ($4.1 million) increase in sales. Excluding these factors, Frechette attributed the 11 percent sales increase primarily to higher unit sales and some price increases. As expected, shipments of handpieces and sterilizers declined significantly in the quarter, reflecting a smaller percentage of dentists needing to purchase disease transmission prevention equipment to fulfill regulatory requirements.
 Operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 1994 was $6.7 million, an increase of 34.1 percent from $5.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 1993. Operating margin for the quarter was 6.6 percent, up from 6.1 percent in the year-ago quarter, due to the higher sales volume and operating expense control, the company said.
 Patterson Dental Company is the largest distributor of dental products in the United States. The company supplies more than 50,000 products to dentists, dental laboratories and institutions, including X- ray film and solutions, impression and restorative materials, hand instruments, and sterilization and protective products and equipment. Patterson markets its products and services through 586 direct sales representatives and equipment specialists nationwide and ships approximately 96 percent of its consumable goods orders within 24 hours of receipt.
 PATTERSON DENTAL COMPANY
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
 (Dollars in thousands)
 7/31/93 4/24/93
 ASSETS (Unaudited)
 Current assets:
 Cash and cash equivalents $4,390 $17,128
 Accounts and notes receivable, net 47,029 45,041
 Inventory at FIFO 42,263 37,763
 LIFO inventory adjustment (7,504) (7,204)
 Inventory at LIFO 34,759 30,559
 Prepaid expenses 2,087 1,233
 Total current assets 88,265 93,961
 Property and equipment, net 10,788 8,834
 Other 709 697
 Total assets $99,762 $103,492
 LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current liabilities:
 Accounts payable $21,752 $28,159
 Accrued payroll expense 2,926 5,896
 Other accrued expenses 3,350 3,511
 Income taxes payable 2,967 1,426
 Current maturities of long-term debt 12 21
 Total current liabilities 31,007 39,013
 Deferred credits 11,116 11,337
 Stockholders' equity:
 Preferred stock 22,000 22,000
 Common stock 117 117
 Paid in capital 30,088 30,088
 Retained earnings 23,886 19,389
 Note receivable from ESOP (18,452) (18,452)
 Total stockholders' equity 57,639 53,142
 Total liabilities and
 stockholders' equity $99,762 $103,492
 PATTERSON DENTAL COMPANY
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 (Unaudited)
 Three Months Ended
 7/31/93 7/25/92
 Net sales $101,762 $81,971
 Cost of sales 66,174 53,696
 Gross profit 35,588 28,275
 Operating expenses 28,907 23,294
 Operating income 6,681 4,981
 Other income and expense:
 Amortization of deferred credits 221 221
 Finance income, net 115 49
 Interest expense (6) (451)
 Income before income taxes 7,011 4,800
 Income taxes 2,585 1,705

 Net income $4,426 $3,095
 Net income available for common
 shareholders $4,274 $2,872
 Earnings per common and common
 equivalent share $.30 $.23
 Weighted average common and common
 equivalent shares outstanding 14,318 12,310
 -0- 8/23/93
 /CONTACT: Ronald Ezerski, vice president and CFO, of Patterson Dental, 612-854-2881; or Fred Nachman of the Financial Relations Board, 312-266-7800, for Patterson Dental/
 (PDCO)


CO: Patterson Dental Company ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU: ERN

KH-DS -- MN015 -- 5213 08/23/93 17:51 EDT
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Date:Aug 23, 1993
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