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Bio-Rad's Q1 Revenues Rise 7 Percent

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its first-quarter revenues increased 7 percent year over year, led by its Clinical Diagnostics segment.

The Hercules, Calif.-based firm had total revenues of $485.1 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to $454.2 million for Q1 2010. On a currency-neutral basis, its revenues increased 5 percent. Bio-Rad beat analysts' consensus estimate for revenues of $482.1 million.

Sales for its Life Science segment increased 2 percent to $154.5 million. On a currency-neutral basis, sales for the segment were flat, hampered by "continued slowness" in markets outside the US, particularly Europe and Japan, the firm said.

Sales for Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics segment increased 9 percent year over year to $327.2 million. The firm cited blood typing, quality controls, and microbiology as key drivers for the segment's revenue growth.

Its R&D expenses increased 6 percent to $42.7 million from $40.3 million, and its SG&A spending jumped 9 percent to $167.8 million from $153.6 million. In a conference call following the release of the results, Bio-Rad CFO Christine Tsingos said that spending was up year over year "primarily related to increased personnel, facilities, and ERP expenses, as well as some impact from the weaker dollar."

Tsingos noted that the first-quarter results included $4 million in one-time costs associated with the retirement of the firm's 2013 subordinated notes, as well as foreign exchange losses of $3 million related to the higher cost of hedging and timing of some payments.

Bio-Rad posted net income of $33 million, or $1.16 per share, for the quarter, down from $34.9 million, or $1.24 per share, for Q1 2010. Wall Street had estimated EPS of $1.32 for the quarter.

Tsingos said that the lower earnings were due primarily to a higher tax rate and the costs associated with the bond retirement. Excluding that cost and the higher-than-usual tax rate, Bio-Rad's EPS would have been approximately $.17 higher than the reported figure, she said.

"As we had anticipated, budgetary constraints faced by some of our customers outside the US had an impact on our performance during the quarter," Bio-Rad President and CEO Norman Schwartz said in a statement. "As the year progresses, we will continue to seek opportunities to improve our operational efficiencies and grow our business."

Asked during the conference call about potential M&A activity for the firm, Schwartz said the "market continues to be pretty buoyant. …We've got several things in the pipeline. As usual, you can never predict whether they're going to come to pass or not."

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $634.7 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash, and $163.5 million in short-term investments.

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