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Patterson Companies Inc PDCO
Q4 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/23/2013

Operator: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Patterson Companies' Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2013 Earnings Announcement Conference Call. During today's presentation, all parties will be in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, the conference will be opened for questions. This conference is being recorded today, May 23, 2013.

I would now like to turn the conference over to (Jeff Wittner). Please go ahead, sir.

Jeff Wittner - IR: Thank you, Douglas. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for participating in Patterson Companies' fiscal fourth quarter earnings conference call. With me in the room today are Scott Anderson, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Steve Armstrong, our Chief Financial Officer. After a brief review of the quarter by management, we will open up the call to your questions.

Before we begin, let me remind you that certain comments made during the course of this conference call are forward-looking in nature and subject to certain risk and uncertainties. These factors are discussed in detail in our Form 10-K and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We urge you to review this material.

Also, since Regulation FD prohibits us from providing investors with earnings guidance unless we release that information simultaneously, we've provided financial guidance for fiscal 2014 in our press release earlier this morning. Be advised that this call is being recorded and will be available for replay starting today at 11 am Central Time for a period of one.

With that, I'd like to hand the call over to Scott Anderson. Scott?

Scott P. Anderson - Chairman, President and CEO: Thank you, Jeff, and welcome everyone to our fourth quarter conference call. Let me begin by saying that we were encouraged by Patterson's performance in the fourth quarter and the second half of fiscal year 2013. Overall, in the fiscal fourth quarter, we saw more than 3% year-over-year growth in sales despite what continues to be a challenging worldwide economic environment, and that growth was fueled primarily by strong performance in Patterson Dental.

As I will review over the next few minutes, we had several key developments and accomplishments in fiscal 2013. Certainly, it was a year marked with milestones, as we celebrated our 20th year as a public company, generated in excess of $3.6 billion in consolidated sales, and for the second year in a row were named one of Forbes' most trustworthy companies.

We are proud of how far we've come as a public company. When we went public, our revenues were slightly less than $280 million 20 years ago. This is truly a testament to the Patterson culture and the dedication of our employees.

Also, I'd like to note that in March we announced that Pete Frechette would be stepping down as Chairman of the Board after nearly 30 years in that role. Peter will serve out his current term as a Director which ends in September. Under Pete's guidance Patterson achieved many milestones. Though too numerous to go through in the brief time that we have, Pete has left his mark on this great Company and the markets we serve. I want to personally thank him for his friendship and guidance in my time at Patterson and has helped in setting the course for our future.

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