Sales at Patterson Cos. fell slightly during its third fiscal quarter, with the company seeing softness in its dental unit.

The Mendota Heights-based distributor of dental and animal health care products saw sales fall 0.2 percent to $1.397 billion from the year-before period. Analysts had been expecting $1.43 billion in sales.

Net income for the quarter ended Jan. 28 was $24.5 million, or 26 cents a share, down from $56.4 million, or 59 cents a share, in the same period in 2016.

Adjusted net income, excluding one-time costs, was $55.4 million, down from $65.1 million a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were 58 cents, slightly exceeding the 57 cents a share expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

“Our performance in the fiscal 2017 third quarter reflects our ongoing efforts to adapt and capitalize in end markets that continue to present both challenges and opportunities,” said Scott Anderson, chairman, president and chief executive of Patterson Cos., in a statement.

During the third quarter, Patterson recorded a pretax noncash impairment charge of $36.3 million related to the distribution fee associated with the CEREC products associated with Sirona Dental Systems.

Net sales for Patterson Dental were $626.3 million, down 1.8 percent from the year ago quarter.

“We are encouraged by core equipment sales in the third quarter and believe the improvement in this category validates our experience and success with broadening our product offerings to achieve future growth,” Anderson said.

Net sales for Patterson Animal Health, which represent 55 percent of overall company revenue, rose 1.7 percent to $762.6 million. Sales rose 4.9 percent when accounting for impact of foreign currency exchange rates. Segment results were driven by sales of companion animal products, which rose 8.5 percent in the quarter.

“We continued to face margin pressure with certain pharmaceutical products in our animal health segment during the third quarter,” Anderson said. “However, we identified and began to implement approaches to adapt our sales and marketing strategies to achieve more profitable growth.”

The company’s stock was unchanged at $44.60 in Thursday trading.