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Bruker, Invitrogen Lead 9-Percent Gain in First 12 Weeks of BCW Index; Boost Beats S&P 500

With Bruker’s shares up 31 percent, Invitrogen’s ascending 26 percent, and PerkinElmer’s climbing 20 percent, the BioCommerce Week Index to the multiplatform molecular biology-tools sector has grown 9 percent in the 12-week period ended Nov. 22.

The index, a weekly compilation of the share prices of 15 selected molecular biology tool vendors that offer a diversified selection of products, serves as a measure and a benchmark of the industry’s growth.

For the period of the last 12 weeks, the BCW index closed at $33.92, up from $31.09 since the chart debuted in the weekly publication on Sept. 8 (see Index on page 4). By comparison, the Nasdaq index was up approximately 12 percent for the same period, while the S&P 500 moved up approximately 6 percent, and the Dow was up approximately 3 percent.

Invitrogen ended the period at $61.54, up 26 percent from $48.87 on Sept. 8. Over the past three months, the company hired a new CFO, David Hoffmeister, formerly of McKinsey & Co., and named Norrie Russell, former president and CEO of Aviva Bioscience, as vice president and general manager of its functional genomics strategic business unit (see BCW, 11/18/2004).

Invitrogen reported a 30-percent increase in third-quarter revenue, to $256.3 million from $196.9 million in Q3 2003, and a 106-percent jump in net income, to $28.2 million from $13.7 million for the same quarter in 2003 (see BCW 11/4/2004).

Last week, the company entered the nascent protein-microarray market when it launched a high-density human proteome chip developed in part with technology picked up in its acquisition of Protometrix in April (see page 8).

PerkinElmer, which closed at $20.80, up from $17.38 at the start of the 12-week period, restructured its executive staff to promote John Murphy to the newly created position of chief operations officer. He had been president of the company’s optoelectronics business unit.

PerkinElmer also added business development to the portfolio of Robert Friel, the company’s CFO. The company reported 8 percent year-over-year growth with revenue of $403 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 26, an increase of 10 percent over $366 million for the year-ago quarter. Additionally, the company spent $95 million toward its debt since the end of the third quarter of 2003. As of the end of the third quarter, the company had $254 million in net debt.

Agilent, Thermo, and Bruker BioSciences followed pacesetting IVGN and PKI with double-digit improvements in their respective stock prices. Agilent closed at $23.08, up 14 percent from $20.18 at the beginning of the period; Thermo saw a 13 percent increase, closing at $46.41 from $26.59 at the beginning of the period; while Bruker closed Monday at $4.33, up from $3.30 at the start of the period.

Much of Bruker’s increase came on the heels of a 200,000 share, $781,000 purchase by CEO Frank Laukien. The company has cut some $6 million in costs and Laukien has promised another round before the end of the year (see BCW, 11/11/2004).

Agilent was buoyed by its life sciences unit, which offset faltering performances in Agilent’s automated test and semiconductor products to help the company record $1.8 billion in total revenues for the quarter ended Oct. 31. (See BCW, 11/18/2004).

Thermo reported revenues of $542 million for the third quarter, a 21-percent increase over revenues of $449 million for the same quarter in 2003. In the past 12 months, Thermo has completed five acquisitions to add $195 million in revenues to its top line. (see BCW, 10/28/2004)

Beckman Coulter, BD, and Applied Biosystems recorded share-price growth ranging from 8 percent to 10 percent for the period.

Beckman closed at $63.74, up from $58.18 in September, a 10-percent increase, while BD closed at $54.72, up from $50.62, an 8 percent improvement.

Applied Biosystems, which began the period with an organization restructuring (see BCW, 9/9/2004), finished at $20.57, up 9 percent from $18.83 at the start of September.

During the period, the company refreshed one of its older sequencing instrument product lines (see BCW, 10/28/2004) as Scott Jenkins took the reins as the new vice president for marketing for ABI’s molecular biology division. He also became manager of ABI’s new centralized internal marketing services team (see BCW, 10/21/2004).

GE, Bio-Rad Laboratories, and Sigma Aldrich all recorded single-digit growth. GE closed at $36.09, up 7 percent from $33.66 at the start of September.

GE said that third-quarter revenues for its Healthcare unit grew by 15 percent year-over-year. The unit’s $3.4 billion in revenues and $503 million in operating profit reflected the first full-quarter contribution by Amersham, which GE acquired in April.

Bio-Rad, with the acquisition of MJ Research completed, closed the period at $56.55, up 10 percent from $51.62 in September. With the acquisition of MJ, Bio-Rad now holds an estimated 18 percent market share in the RT-PCR thermal cycler market, and a lawsuit (see BCW, 11/18/2004).

Sigma, which closed the period at $58.68, up 4 percent from $56.51 in September, added a new molecular biology tool (see BCW, 10/21/2004) and reported net sales of $341 million for its third quarter, up 8.4 percent from $314 million for the same period one year ago.

The company reported a gross profit of $182 million for the period, compared to $164 million for the year-ago quarter.

Harvard Bioscience, Stratagene, and Molecular Devices were the only companies to end the period with share prices retreating.

Harvard Bioscience closed the period at $4.34, down 8 percent from $4.71 in September.

Stratagene closed at $6.80, down 4 percent from $7.09 in September.

Molecular Devices, despite reporting the best third quarter in the company’s 21-year history, closed at $21.20, down 12 percent from $21.25 at the start of September.

— Mo Krochmal ([email protected])



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