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Beckman Coulter Q1 Revenues Down on Currency Effects, Instrument Sales Decline

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its first-quarter 2009 revenues fell 5.3 percent, but were flat in constant currency terms, as the firm's cash instrument sales declined.

The Orange County, Calif.-based firm brought in total revenues of $691.5 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to $730.5 million for the first quarter of 2009. Its recurring revenue, which includes supplies, service, and lease payments, dipped slightly to $573.7 million from $579.3 million — but were up nearly 5 percent on a constant currency basis. Its cash instrument sales dropped 22 percent to $117.8 million from $151.2 million.

The instrument sales decline was felt primarily in the firm's life science and cellular analysis businesses.

Beckman Coulter's clinical diagnostics segment had Q1 revenues of $597.3 million, down around 4 percent from $620 million in the first quarter of 2008. Within that segment, the firm's immunoassay and molecular diagnostics business managed revenue growth of 2 percent, or 8 percent excluding currency effects, to $176.9 million from $172.9 million. Its cell analysis business declined 8 percent, or 3 percent on a currency neutral basis, to $213.5 million from $231.5 million.

Revenues for the firm's life sciences business dropped 15 percent, or 10 percent excluding currency effects, to $94.2 million from $110.5 million. "A challenging capital expenditure environment and difficult comparables contributed to this trend," the firm said in a statement.

Beckman Coulter posted a Q1 profit of 20.6 million, or $.32 per share, versus a profit of $40.9 million, or $.63 per share, in the comparable period a year ago. The first quarter of 2009 included $26.4 million in restructuring and acquisition-related costs compared to less than a million dollars in such costs the year before.

Beckman Coulter is in the process of acquiring Olympus' diagnostics business for around $780 million.

The firm's R&D costs fell around 4 percent to $59.9 million from $62.7 million, while its SG&A spending decreased 5 percent to $193.2 million from $203.6 million.

Beckman Coulter finished the quarter with $147.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

"We are affirming our outlook, despite the potential for lower cash instrument sales in 2009," Beckman Coulter Chairman, President, and CEO Scott Garrett said in a statement. "Solid constant currency recurring revenue gains are expected to continue with full-year growth of 6 percent to 7 percent. As a result, on a constant currency basis, our 2009 full year outlook for revenue growth remains at 4 percent to 6 percent, or flat, on a reported basis."

In early Wednesday trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Beckman Coulter were down 3 percent at $50.97.

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