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Negative Currency Effects Hit Bio-Rad's Q2 Revenues, but Shares Rise

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its second-quarter revenues declined nearly 6 percent but were up almost 4 percent on a currency-neutral basis compared to the second quarter of 2008.

The Hercules, Calif.-based firm generated total revenues of $427.2 million for the three-month period ended June 30, compared to $452.4 million the year before. Its life science segment had revenue of $149.7 million, down 7 percent year over year, while its clinical diagnostics segment was down nearly 5 percent to $274.2 million.

Bio-Rad CFO Christine Tsingos said during a conference call Tuesday that on a currency neutral basis, sales for the life science segment were flat year-over-year. She also said that excluding the decline in the firm's BSE business, currency-neutral sales for that segment grew nearly 2 percent year over year due primarily to "strong sales" for its gene amplification and protein-function products.

Bio-Rad's net income declined to $38 million, or $1.37 per share, from $43.4 million, or $1.57 per share. However, the EPS easily beat analysts' consensus estimate of $1.06

In early Wednesday trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Bio-Rad's shares climbed 8 percent to $84.05.

Its R&D spending increased around 1 percent to $42.4 million from $42.1 million, while its SG&A expenses decreased 2 percent to $143.7 million from $146.6 million.

"We are encouraged by the strength we continue to see in many of our core markets despite currency headwinds and a weakened global economy, which have tempered our reported performance so far this year," said Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad's President and CEO, in a statement.

"We are now beginning to see, like a lot of our competitors, the early stages of the federal stimulus plan rollout," added Brad Crutchfield, group manager of Bio-Rad's life science segment during the call. "Some of our customers are now getting their grants and we are starting to see some of the sales. Again, most of that we would see the impact being for the fourth quarter and into the first half of next year."

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $533.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $29.9 million in short-term investments.

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