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The Board of leading infection prevention and control products maker Cantel Medical ( CMN - Snapshot Report ) has approved a raise in the company’s semi-annual cash dividend to 7 cents per share from 6 cents, representing a roughly 16.7% increase. This lifts Cantel’s annual dividend to 14 cents per share from the current payout of 12 cents and equates to a yield of roughly 0.6%.
The revised dividend is payable on January 31, 2012, to shareholders of record as on January 17, 2012. The dividend increase underscores the company’s healthy financial position.
New Jersey-based Cantel, which operates through six segments, offers its infection prevention and control products to dialysis, dental, endoscope processing, water purification, therapeutic filtration and specialty packaging markets. It competes with Siemens ( SI - Analyst Report ) among others.
The company’s fourth-quarter 2011 (ended July 31) earnings of 27 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30 cents. Profit rose just 1% year over year as higher costs (including acquisition expenses) neutralized healthy double-digit growth in revenues.
Revenues surged 23% year over year to a record $86 million, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $82 million. The strong growth was led by Cantel’s Endoscope Reprocessing business. The company saw growth across its three major businesses in the quarter.
Cantel continues to successfully execute its three-pronged strategy (new product development, sales and marketing programs and acquisitions) to spur growth. Moreover, the company remains committed to its strategy of growth through acquisitions.
Most recently, Cantel acquired (its largest buyout so far) privately-held disposable infection control products maker Byrne Medical for $100 million, enabling it to broaden its gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy business. While acquisition-related costs hurt Cantel’s profits in fiscal 2011, it remains optimistic that acquisitions coupled with new products and investment in sales/marketing infrastructure will significantly contribute to its sales and earnings in fiscal 2012.
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