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DENTSPLY International’s (XRAY - Analyst Report) is set to report its first-quarter 2013 results before the opening bell on Thursday, May 9. Let us see how things are shaping up prior to the announcement.

In the last quarter, the leading dental products maker posted a 1.82% positive earnings surprise on the back of strong sales in emerging markets.

Factors to Consider this Quarter

Last quarter, DENTSPLY recorded solid profit, which surged three fold year over year. Moreover, the company has also reduced its debt level and is now well positioned to invest in accretive acquisitions and/or share repurchase programs and dividends.

The company’s overall growth strategy rests on product innovation and acquisitions. DENTSPLY’s acquisition of Astra Tech, which the company has acquired from AstraZeneca PLC (AZN - Analyst Report) has reinforced its foothold in the global dental market. We wait to see the impact of the changes in top management, which took place recently due to integration and realignment of global operations. However, we believe that the current condition of the world economy only offers modest growth prospects for XRAY.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that DENTSPLY is likely to beat earnings estimate this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. This is not the case here, as you will see below.

Positive Zacks Earnings ESP:  The Most Accurate Estimate stands at 57 cents, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 56 cents. This comes to a difference of +1.79%.

Zacks Rank #4 (Sell): XRAY’s Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) lowers the predictive power of ESP.

The Zacks Rank #4 together with +1.79% earnings ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies from the medical sector you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right ingredients to post an earnings beat this quarter:  

Walgreen Co. (WAG - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +1.11% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Sirona Dental Systems Inc. (SIRO - Snapshot Report), Earnings ESP of +1.39% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)
 

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