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BCW Index Outperforms Nasdaq, Biotech Index in 2006

The BioCommerce Week Index gained 10.6 percent for the year 2006, adjusting for additions and deletions in the Index during the year. The Index beat the Nasdaq and Nasdaq Biotech Index, which gained 9.5 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively, for the year. However, the BCW Index could not keep pace with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which climbed 16.3 percent for the year as it hit historical highs in December.
 
Bruker BioSciences led all 15 companies in the Index with a gain of 54.5 percent for the year. The firm’s shares climbed steadily in the second half of the year and hit a 52-week high of $8.47 on Nov. 16.
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific was a close second with a rise of 50.3 percent. Its shares also climbed sharply during the second half of the year and hit a high of $46.34 on Dec. 28. The firm was formed through the merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific, which was announced in May and completed in November. After completion of the merger, Fisher’s shares, which were part of the BCW Index, ceased trading and the combined company continued to trade under Thermo’s stock ticker.
 
Applied Biosystems, which had a busy year of acquisitions and the resignation of its president, Cathy Burzik, also had a strong gain for its stock. ABI’s shares closed up 38.1 percent for the year, hitting a 52-week high of $39.49 on Oct. 25.
 
Shares in only three firms in the Index lost value during the year: Molecular Devices, Stratagene, and Invitrogen.
 
Molecular Devices, which fell 27.2 percent for the year, hit a low of $16.85 on Sept. 27, the day it lowered its third-quarter guidance. The firm blamed soft pharma sales for its difficulties, and President and CEO Joseph Keegan told investors at a conference that the firm may have to reassess certain product lines if the flat sales continued (see BioCommerce Week 10/4/2006).
 
Stratagene’ shares dropped 25.9 percent for the year. Over the past 13 months, the firm has been ordered by two separate courts in two separate patent infringement cases to pay triple damages to Third Wave Technologies and Invitrogen (see BioCommerce Week 11/1/2006  and 12/22/2005). Stratagene has appealed both cases. It hit a 52-week high of $11.41 on April 21, and a 52-week low of $3.98 on Sep. 8, before finishing the year at $7.44.
 
Invitrogen’s shares dropped 15.1 percent from Dec. 30, 2005, to Dec. 29, 2006. In between, the firm hit a high of $76.65 on March 1, and a 52-week low of $54.70 on Dec. 1. The firm was hampered during the second half of the year by continuing difficulties in its BioReliance business, a massive IT overhaul, and integration issues related to last year’s purchases.
 
Invitrogen recently completed a portfolio review, and though company officials have hinted that divestitures might be a likely result of that review, none have been announced thus far.
 
 

BioCommerce Week Index —
2006 Performance
Company
Ticker
End
(December 29, 2006)
Start
December 30, 2005)
% change
Agilent A
34.85
33.29
4.69
Applied Biosystems ABI
36.69
26.56
38.14
Beckman BEC
59.8
56.
5.10
Bio-Rad BIO
82.52
65.44
26.10
Bruker BRKR
7.51
4.86
54.53
GE GE
37.21
35.05
6.16
Invitrogen IVGN
56.59
66.64
-15.08
Millipore MIL
66.6
66.04
0.85
Molecular Devices MDCC
21.07
28.93
-27.17
PerkinElmer PKI
22.23
23.56
-5.65
Qiagen QGEN
15.13
11.75
28.77
Sigma SIAL
77.72
63.29
22.80
Stratagene STGN
7.44
10.04
-25.90
Thermo TMO
45.29
30.13
50.32
Waters WAT
48.97
37.8
29.55
BCW Index Average
41.31
37.35
10.59
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