The BCW Index rose 5.31 percent for the first quarter of 2006, with shares of 11 of the 16 firms in the Index increasing during the period. For the period from Jan. 3 to Apr. 4, the Index outgained the Nasdaq, which rose 4.53 percent for the same period; the Nasdaq Biotech Index, which gained 3.69 percent; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased 3.29 percent.
Thermo Electron led all gainers with a 22.06-percent rise in its shares. Other strong performers for the quarter included Qiagen, which gained 20.68 percent; Molecular Devices, which rose 19.23 percent; and Bruker BioSciences and Agilent, which both gained more than 13 percent.
The five firms to lose ground during the first quarter were Beckman Coulter, Bio-Rad Laboratories, General Electric, Harvard Bioscience, and PerkinElmer. Harvard Bio had the largest decline by far, falling 15.22 percent for the quarter.