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Life Sciences and Diagnostics Lifts Danaher Q4 Revenues 6 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Danaher today said that revenues in the fourth quarter rose nearly 6 percent year over year paced by its Life Sciences and Diagnostics segment.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2012, the company posted total revenues of $4.98 billion, up from $4.72 billion in the year-ago period, and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $4.81 billion.

Core revenues increased 3.5 percent year over year during the quarter, while acquisitions added 3 percent growth, and the impact of currency translation cut growth by 1 percent.

By segment, Life Sciences and Diagnostics pulled in $1.84 billion in revenues, up a little more than 6 percent from $1.73 billion a year ago. On a conference call following the release of the results, Danaher President and CEO Lawrence Culp said that the core life sciences business grew in the high-single digits year over year during quarter.

AB Sciex core sales saw low double-digit growth, with "particular strength in China and North America led by the ramp in sales of our new 6500 Triple Quad system launched earlier this year," said Culp.

The Test and Measurement segment saw revenues increase 1 percent to $863.7 million from $855.5 million, and the Environmental segment rose 5 percent to $850.6 from $806.4 million. The firm's Dental segment increased sales 4 percent to $570.5 million from $550.4 million, and the Industrial Technologies segment rose 10 percent to $852.7 million from $775.8 million.

Danaher's R&D spending was up 4 percent to $294.6 million from $282.1 million a year ago. Its SG&A costs also increased 9 percent to $1.41 billion from $1.29 billion.

Danaher's profit for the fourth quarter improved to $630.4 million, or $.89 per share, compared to $570.7 million, or $.80 per share, a year ago, and beat analyst estimates of $.86 per share.

Earlier in the month, Danaher had pre-announced that EPS was expected to be above the high end of a previously announced EPS range of $.80 and $.85 per share on higher than anticipated core growth.

For full-year 2012, revenues totaled $18.26 billion, a 13 percent increase from $16.09 billion from 2011. The company beat the consensus Wall Street revenue estimate of $18.09 billion.

The core business was up 2.5 percent year over year, while acquisitions added 13 percentage points to growth. Currency translation reduced growth by 2 percentage points.

The Life Sciences and Diagnostics segment grew 40 percent to $6.49 billion from $4.63 billion. On the conference call Culp said that the outlook for Beckman Coulter this year, which Danaher acquired in June 2011, is for low-single digit growth.

"We were at low-single [digit growth] through the first three quarters and really thought that's where we would be in the fourth quarter," he said. "I would say that clearly from a geographic perspective the growth we're seeing at Beckman is really a function of stability in the West with strength in the high-growth markets."

Among Danaher's four other segments, Test and Measurement revenues were down slightly to $3.38 billion from $3.39 billion, while Environmental was up 4 percent to $3.06 billion from $2.94 billion. Dental was up to $2.02 billion from $2.01 billion, and Industrial Technologies increased 6 percent to $3.31 billion from $3.12 billion.

Danaher increased its R&D spend during the year 12 percent to $1.14 billion from $1.02 billion. Its SG&A expenses also increased 12 percent to $5.18 billion from $4.61 billion.

Net earnings for full-year 2012 increased to $2.39 billion, or $3.36 per share, from $2.17 billion, or $3.11 per share, a year ago. Wall Street expected EPS of $3.20 for 2012.

Danaher ended 2012 with $1.68 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

The firm said that it expects to close its divestiture of its interest in the Apex Tool Group within two weeks, and as a result revised its previously issued EPS guidance. For the first quarter of 2013 adjusted EPS is now anticipated in the range of $.72 to $.77. Full-year 2013 adjusted EPS is anticipated to be in the $3.32 to $3.47 range.