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Beckman Coulter Reports Strong Q1 Sales for Dx, Life Science Products

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter reported after the close of the market Wednesday that its first-quarter 2010 revenues climbed 27 percent, with strong sales growth for both its clinical diagnostics and life sciences segments.

The Orange County, Calif.-based diagnostics and research tools firm brought in total revenues of $881.1 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to $691.5 million for the first quarter of 2009. Analysts, on average, had expected revenues of $876.1 million.

The firm's recurring revenues were $731.3 million versus $573.7 million for the prior year's first quarter, and its cash instrument sales jumped to $149.8 million from $117.8 million.

Beckman Coulter's clinical diagnostic sales were $775.8 million for the quarter, up 30 percent from $597.3 million in Q1 2009. Within that segment, chemistry and clinical automation products had sales of $323 million; cellular analysis had $239.1 million; and immunoassay and molecular diagnostics had $213.7 million. The firm's life science segment had 12 percent growth to $105.3 million from $94.2 million.

The company's Q1 revenues include a contribution of $115.7 million from the recent Olympus Diagnostics acquisition.

Beckman Coulter's profit for the quarter was $38.7 million, or $.54 per share, compared to $20.6 million, or $.32 per share, for Q1 2009. On an adjusted basis, excluding certain charges, its EPS was $.86, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $.85.

Its R&D expenses increased 17 percent to $70.1 million from $59.9 million, while its SG&A spending increased 20 percent to $222.9 million from $185.9 million.

Beckman Coulter finished the quarter with $296.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The firm expects full-year 2010 revenues to be between $3.75 billion and $3.85 billion, including around $480 million to $500 million contribution from Olympus Diagnostics. It expects its full-year EPS to be in a range of $4.30 to $4.50.

"I remain confident about the soundness of our strategy and the stability and opportunities in our sector," Scott Garrett, Beckman Coulter's chairman, president, and CEO said in a statement. "We continue to leverage our channel presence and customer relationships to pursue many significant long-term growth opportunities including those in China, cellular analysis and molecular diagnostics."

During the first quarter, Beckman Coulter recalled a troponin test that runs on its DxI system and advised DxI customers to find an alternate method for troponin testing. Garrett said that the firm recognized approximately $60 million in total annual revenue from troponin in the US in 2009, of which it estimates that $10 million to $15 million is at risk.

"We have committed considerable resources to characterize the factors underlying the product compliance and quality issues, restore troponin to an unambiguous cleared status, and ensure that we are on a strong foundation for regulatory compliance in the future," Garrett said.

In a separate announcement, Beckman Coulter said that its board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $.18 per share payable on May 21 to stockholders of record on May 7.

In early Thursday trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Beckman Coulter jumped 9 percent to $63.97.

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