It was just what the doctor ordered: Patterson Companies Inc. reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of 57 cents, in line with analyst estimates.

The Mendota Heights-based maker of medical supplies for dentists and veterinarians said Thursday that net earnings were $57 million, up 6 percent, for the three months ended Jan. 25.

Sales jumped 18 percent to $1.08 billion, just above analysts' estimates of $1.07 billion and the first time Patterson has eclipsed the $1 billion mark.

The results benefited from the first full-quarter impact of Patterson's acquisition last year of National Veterinary Services Ltd., a major distributor in the United Kingdom. That business contributed $145.5 million to sales and 1 cent per share to earnings, Patterson said.

The company also said that investments in information technology, aimed at supporting anticipated future growth, reduced third-quarter earnings by 2 cents a share.

"We saw solid sales growth in our dental and veterinary businesses, despite the impact of the severe winter weather that hampered activity in many U.S. markets," CEO Scott Anderson said in a statement.

Shares in Patterson rose 81 cents, or 2 percent, to $40.55 on Thursday.

Steve Alexander