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Double-Digit Growth in PCR Business Boosts ABI's Fiscal Q1 Revenues

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Applied Biosystems today reported a 6 percent increase in total revenues for the first quarter of its 2009 fiscal year, driven by double-digit growth in its real-time and core PCR businesses.
 
For the three months ended Sept. 30, ABI posted revenues of $533.1 million, an increase of more than 6 percent over $501.2 million recorded in the comparable period of 2007. The company said that foreign currency contributed less than 3 percent, yielding a growth rate of approximately 4 percent excluding the impact of currency.
 
Due to the company’s split with Celera in July, financial figures for the year-ago period have been restated to reflect the Celera business as discontinued operations, ABI said.
 
Quarterly revenues for the company’s Real-Time PCR/Applied Genomics business climbed 13 percent, to $202.7 million from $180.1 million in the year-ago period. This business contributed 38 percent of ABI’s total revenues for first-quarter 2009, compared to 36 percent of total revenues for first-quarter 2008.
 
Revenues for ABI’s Core PCR & DNA Synthesis business rose 17 percent, to $54.3 million from $46.6 million; DNA Sequencing revenues increased 9 percent, to $140 million from $129 million in the year-ago period; and revenues for other product lines grew 10 percent, to $26.9 million from $24.4 million.
 
These gains offset a 10 percent dip in mass spectrometry revenues, which fell to $109.2 million from $121.1 million in the comparable period of 2007. Mass spec sales comprised 21 percent of ABI’s total revenues in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared to 24 percent of total revenues in the year-ago quarter.
 
Mark Stevenson, president and COO, said in a statement that in addition to the double-digit growth in the company’s Real Time PCR/Applied Genomics business, “our SOLiD system gained further traction in the marketplace, helping to drive good growth in the DNA sequencing business.”
 
Stevenson added that mass spec performance was “disappointing but not altogether surprising as customers awaited the launch of new platform products that we introduced earlier this month.”
 
ABI recorded a 1 percent increase in instrument sales, to $192.2 million; a 7 percent boost in consumables sales, to $231.5 million; and a 14 percent rise in revenues from other sources, including service and support, royalties, licenses and consulting, to $109.4 million. These revenues included $72.4 million from the company’s services business and $27.5 million from royalties and licenses.
 
Broken down by geographic region, ABI recorded $226.9 million in US sales, a 1 percent increase; $178.6 million in Europe, an 8 percent increase including favorable foreign currency effects of around 6 percent; $43.1 million in Japan, a 10 decrease including favorable foreign currency effects of around 5 percent; and $58.1 million in other Asia Pacific countries, a 38 percent increase including favorable foreign currency effects of around 2 percent.
 
ABI’s R&D spending for the quarter was nearly flat at $49.3 million, compared to $50.6 million in the prior-year quarter, while SG&A expenses rose 7 percent to $160.3 million from $149.4 million in the year-ago period. This increase was primarily due to the unfavorable impact of currency and employee-related costs, ABI said.
 
Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 rose 25 percent to $77.2 million, or $.44 per share, from $61.7 million, or $.32 per share, for the prior-year quarter. Net income for the year-ago period included net income of $1.2 million for discontinued operations related to the former Celera business.
 
As of the end of the quarter, ABI had $368 million in cash and short-term investments.

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