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Bio-Rad's Q1 Sales Spike 13 Percent

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported after the market closed on Tuesday that its first-quarter revenues rose13 percent on increased organic growth in its Life Science and Clinical Diagnostic businesses and from new revenue from the Biotest business, which Bio-Rad acquired at the beginning of the year.

The firm reported total revenues of $454.2 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to revenues of $400.9 million for the first quarter of 2009. On a currency-neutral basis, Bio-Rad's revenue growth for the quarter was 8 percent.

Bio-Rad said that its Life Science products business generated revenues of $151.4 million, an increase of 8 percent year over year. Sales for the firm's Clinical Diagnostic products were $299.8 million, up around 16.4 percent over the period a year ago.

Life Science sales grew in part due to increased sales of the ProteOn protein interaction array systems and from the firm's next-generation PCR instruments.

Sales for Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics business swelled on growth in all product lines, particularly in quality controls, blood typing, and diabetes monitoring, it said.

"During the first quarter we were pleased to add the new diagnostics businesses to our operation," Bio-Rad President and CEO Norman Schwartz said in a statement. "As the year continues, we will focus on the seamless integration of these new products into our organization and look for other opportunities to invest in our future."

Bio-Rad posted a profit of $34.9 million, or $1.24 per share, up from $30.2 million, or $1.10 per share, in the first quarter of 2009. It beat analysts' consensus estimate for EPS of $1.17.

The company's R&D costs rose 8 percent over the year before to $40.3 million from $37.2 million, while its SG&A spending was up 9 percent to $153.6 million from $140.3 million.

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $598.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $93.6 million in short-term investments.

The firm noted in a statement accompanying its financial results that an internal investigation "identified conduct in certain of our overseas operations that may have violated the anti-bribery provisions of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act." Bio-Rad said that it has disclosed the matter to the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

It added that it has not yet assessed whether the activities in question have violated the laws of foreign jurisdictions in which they took place, and it does not know whether the US agencies will take any legal action against the firm.

Bio-Rad's shares were down 4 percent at $107 in Wednesday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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