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Henry Schein (HSIC - Analyst Report), a worldwide distributor of healthcare products and services, recently entered into a distribution agreement with non-invasive monitoring technology for patient care provider Masimo Corporation (MASI - Analyst Report). Per the deal, the medical unit of Henry Schein, namely Henry Schein Medical will distribute Masimo’s Pronto-7, the only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared small non-invasive device for spot-checking of total hemoglobin (SpHb), SpO2, pulse rate and perfusion index.

In addition to Pronto-7, Pronto with rainbow technology will also be available from the US customer base of physician offices, community health facilities, medical clinics, and ambulatory surgical centers of HenrySchein.

Capable of measuring hemoglobin in less than a minute without the needles risk compared to the hazards of traditional blood tests, Pronto 7 is expected to go down well with the customer base of Henry Schein. With several recent honors in its pocket including 2011 GOLD Medical Design Excellence Award, 2011 TechAmerica High-Tech Innovation Award and the 2011 iF Product Design Award, Pronto 7 is expected to add further life to Henry Schein’s medical business in the coming period.

Henry Schein’s portfolio consists of consumable products, small equipment, laboratory products, large dental and medical equipment, equipment repair services, branded and generic pharmaceuticals, vaccines, surgical products, diagnostic tests, infection-control products and vitamins.

The company continues to experience strong top-line growth and has established its footprint in both domestic and international markets in dental, veterinary and medical supply distribution. We are also encouraged by the company’s focus on improving its cost structure to drive profitability. The stock retains a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).

Henry Schein’s performance should improve further with the gradual recovery in economic outlook. However, the company faces stiff competition from major players like McKesson Corporation (MCK - Analyst Report) and Patterson Companies Inc. (PDCO - Analyst Report). Over the long term, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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