Marketing costs cut Birner Dental profits

Birner Dental Management Services, operators of Perfect Teeth dental practices, announced a 21.1% drop in its net income for the quarter (end-March 31) to $534,000, compared with $677,000 in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenues rose by 7.8% from $15.3 million to $16.5 million. The increase in revenue was primarily attributable to three offices that were acquired during the fourth quarter of 2009 and one new office the company started in Albuquerque, NM, that opened in February 2010. These four new offices accounted for an additional $1.1 million in revenue.

Net income decreased in the 2010 quarter as a result of $162,000 in expenses associated with a long-term incentive program adopted in June 2009, $110,000 in television and radio advertising programs implemented in February 2010, and $63,000 in legal and accounting expenses related to responding to Securities and Exchange Commission comments pertaining to the company's Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2008.

Also negatively affecting net income was an anticipated $55,000 loss at the new Albuquerque office due to start-up costs. The company expects this office to be breakeven to profitable in the second quarter of 2010.

During the first quarter of 2010, the company had capital expenditures of $626,000, purchased 10,760 shares of its common stock for approximately $174,000, and paid out approximately $316,000 in dividends to its shareholders.

Birner acquires, develops, and manages geographically dense dental practice networks in select markets in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. The company currently manages 65 dental offices, of which it bought 38 and started 27, and has 125 dentists.

Effective May 14, 2010, Birner will close two underperforming offices in the Phoenix market and consolidate the patients with other Perfect Teeth offices in the area. These two offices had combined revenue of approximately $400,000 in 2009.

Copyright © 2010

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