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Invitrogen Posts 12 Percent Revenue Growth for Q4

This article has been updated to include comments from Invitrogen's conference call.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Invitrogen today reported a 12 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenues while its loss in last year’s fourth quarter swung to a profit.
Invitrogen had fourth-quarter revenues of $336.4 million, up from $301.6 million in the comparable period of 2006. Revenues for its BioDiscovery segment rose 13.5 percent year over year to $239 million, while revenue from the Cell Systems segment climbed 7 percent to $97 million.
“We were able to achieve this level of financial improvement due to the focus we put on three core areas in 2007: driving organic growth, optimizing mix, and improving operational efficiencies,” said Greg Lucier, Invitrogen’s chairman and CEO, during a conference call last night. “We made great progress against all of these areas last year.”

He said revenue growth for both the BioDiscovery and Cell Systems segments was the result of “sustained pricing improvements, better sales execution, improved profit availability, new products, and many new customers.”

Lucier said that within the BioDiscovery segment, “Our molecular biology products continue making progress with strong growth in protein separations, RT enzymes, real-time PCR consumables, and RNAi among others. Cellular analysis also continues to have attractive growth as we launched new antibody products, while maintaining our leadership in cellular mechanism labeling.”
Invitrogen’s R&D expenses rose 26.8 percent to $31.2 million from $24.6 million, while SG&A costs increased 9.4 percent year over year to $106.8 million from $97.6 million.
The firm posted net income of $41.1 million, or $.83 per share, compared to a net loss of $100.2 million, or $2.03 million per share. Last year, Invitrogen took $148.9 million in charges related to the sale of its BioReliance unit, which it listed as discontinued operations on its balance sheet. Excluding those charges, the firm had Q4 2006 net income of $48.5 million, or $.99 per share.
BioReliance was sold early in 2007 to private equity firm Avista Capital Partners for approximately $210 million.
For full-year 2007, Invitrogen reported 11 percent revenue growth to $1.28 billion from $1.15 billion. BioDiscovery segment revenues increased 10.7 percent to $902.2 million from $814.7 million, while Cell Systems revenue climbed 12.8 percent to $379.5 million from $336.5 million.
Its full-year R&D spending increased 11 percent to $115.8 million from $104.3 million. SG&A spending rose 8.8 percent to $416.1 million from $382.5 million year over year.
Invitrogen posted a fiscal-year 2007 profit of $143.2 million, or $2.95 per share, compared to a net loss of $191 million, or $3.60 per share, in 2006. Excluding charges related to BioReliance, its full-year 2006 net income was $185.1 million, or $3.51 per share.
Invitrogen finished 2007 with $671.3 million in cash and investments.
Company officials said during the call that they expect full-year 2008 revenues to grow in the mid-single digits, net income to increase in the low-double digits, and EPS to increase in the high-single to low-double digits. Quarterly growth rates will vary due to a variety of factors, they said.
In 2008, Lucier said Invitrogen will focus its investments in five core, high-growth areas: “First, emerging markets, where we will continue to invest in distribution infrastructure to increase our direct presence; cellular analysis, by further enhancing our position as the premier cell biology company; instrumentation, focused only on those instruments that can offer a complete solution with our reagents that can radically improve the scientific workflow; applied markets, where we plan to leverage our existing portfolio while tapping into new distribution outlets, whether it be directly or through some partnerships like we have done already; and finally, specialty cell systems, leveraging our core expertise in cell culture and stem cell technologies, we have already made traction in this area with the acquisition of CellzDirect, a company offering primary cell products and services.”
He also said that the firm may increase its acquisition activities slightly during 2008 compared to 2007. "But again, staying close to the core, close to what we're trying to do with our business in and around the cell,” said Lucier.
Last month, Invitrogen announced that it would buy primary cell provider CellzDirect for around $57 million in cash in an effort to expand its cellular analysis business.
Lucier has said over the past several months that the firm planned to invest more heavily in cell biology because it saw “extremely promising growth trends” in the field.
In early Wednesday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Invitrogen were up 5.4 percent at $87.92.

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