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Beckman Coulter's Stock Rises on Strong Q1 Revenue, Profit Growth

This article has been updated to include comments from a conference call and a stock quote.
 
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of Beckman Coulter rose more than 7 percent in Wednesday trade after the firm reported that its first quarter revenues rose 19.1 percent, or 14.5 percent on a constant currency basis, and its profits jumped 15.6 percent year over year.
 
The Fullerton, Calif.-based firm brought in revenues of $730.5 million for the three-month period ended March 31, up from $613.6 million in the first quarter of 2007.
 
“Sales to both clinical diagnostics and life sciences customers grew well above market at double-digit rates,” said Chairman, President and CEO Scott Garrett, in a statement. “Revenue mix favored lower-margin instrumentation and emerging markets.”
 
Clinical diagnostics revenues rose 19.2 percent to $620 million for the quarter, while life sciences revenues jumped 18.3 percent to $110.5 million, the firm said.
 
Within its clinical diagnostics business, sales for chemistry and clinical automation systems increased 17.2 percent to $215.6 million; sales of cellular products rose 14.7 percent to $231.5 million; and immunoassay and molecular diagnostic products sales were up 21.8 percent at $172.9 million.
 
Sales to customers in the US increased 10.7 percent year over year to $367.3 million, while sales outside the US rose 28.9 percent to $363.2 million. Company officials said during a conference call that instrument sales to India, China, and other emerging markets more than doubled year over year.
 
Beckman’s net income for the quarter was $42.9 million, or $.67 per share, compared to $37.1 million, or $.59 per share, for the first quarter of 2007.
 
Its R&D expenses increased 8.5 percent to $62.7 million from $57.8 million, while SG&A costs climbed 16.1 percent to $203.6 million from $175.4 million.
 
Beckman finished the quarter with $70.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 
“Q1 results are encouraging, but our outlook for life sciences revenue continues to be realistic,” said Garrett during the call. “This is the first quarter of real growth in some time.
 
“We’re now expecting that rather than flat we should be in the low-single digits growth for life sciences for the full year,” he said.
 
Based on its first quarter performance, the firm increased its revenue and EPS guidance for full-year 2008. It now expects to report revenue growth of between 11 percent and 13 percent, compared to its previous guidance of between 7 percent and 9 percent. It expects EPS to be in a range of $3.55 to $3.65, up from previous guidance of $3.50 to $3.65.
 
Following the results, investment bank Leerink Swann upgraded Beckman's stock from "market perform" to "outperform."
 
Shares of Beckman Coulter were up 7.1 percent at $68.34 in late Wednesday trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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