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Bio-Rad Shares Sink 10.5 Percent After Bank Downgrades Stock on Lackluster Earnings Report

NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (GenomeWeb News) - Shares in Bio-Rad were down 10.48 percent, or $6.07, at $51.83 in late-afternon trading after lackluster fourth-quarter earnings caused an investment bank to downgrade the stock today.


Robert W. Baird downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "outperform" after Bio-Rad yesterday reported that fourth-quarter income slipped to $17.1 million, or $.65 per share, from $19.2 million, or $.73 per share. However, sales in the quarter rose to $307.9 million from $258.1 million.


As GenomeWeb News reported yesterday, Bio-Rad reported a 19.3-percent increase in total net sales during then fourth quarter, while sales from its Life Science segment jumped 16.4 percent, excluding currency benefits.

Total net sales for the Hercules, Calif.-based life-sciences company increased to $307.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2004 from $258 million in the year-ago quarter. With currency benefits, net sales in the Life Science segment grew 21.6 percent to $148.5 million, the firm said.


Bio-Rad said that the revenue increase in Life Science was helped along by its  August 2004 acquisition of MJ GeneWorks.


R&D spending during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004, inched up to $31.9 million from $25.6 million year over year, Bio-Rad said.


The company said net income in the quarter fell to $17.1 million, or $.65 per share, from $19.2 million, or $.73 per share.


Bio-Rad said it had around $195.7 million in cash and equivalents and $165.9 million in short-term investments as of Dec. 31, 2004.

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