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Packard Sees Q1 Revenues Jump, Reports Disappointing Scanner Sales

NEW YORK, May 9  - Packard BioScience reported late Wednesday that sales of liquid handling and sample preparation instruments helped drive up first-quarter revenues to $51.5 million, a 19 percent jump over the year ago quarter, including negative currency effects. 

Without the negative currency effect, the company said its revenues would have increased 23 percent. 

The Meriden, Conn.-based company said sales of its liquid handling and preparation instruments surged 45 percent on strong sales of its MultiProbe II.  

Packard also saw a 40 percent jump in microarray scanner sales following an order from China received in late 2000, but said it was disappointed in subsequent orders for the scanners and is "working on several initiatives to improve our results." The company did not elaborate.

The company's legacy products also decreased 11 percent, continuing a decline seen in previous quarters.  

Packard's overall expenses also rose slightly to $23.6 million, from $22.1 million in the year-ago quarter. The company said its R&D expenses rose to $8.6 million, compared with $6.2 million for the first quarter in 2000, while goodwill amortization also increased to $1.4 million, compared with $240,000 in the corresponding period a year ago. Sales, general, and administrative expenses declined slightly to $13.5 million from $15.7 million for the first quarter of 2000.

Packard reported net profits for the quarter of $49.5 million, or two cents per diluted share, from continuing operations, a penny less than Wall Street had expected, according to a poll of three brokers conducted by FirstCall/Thomson Financial. In first quarter 2000, Packard reported net losses of $6.2 million, or 8 cents a share, from continuing operations.

Due to its sale of Canberra, Packard said it generated after-tax proceeds of $47 million. 

This quarterly report falls on the heels of Packard's decision April 27 to withdraw its proposed follow-on offering of 10 million shares, a financing move it had previously anticipated would raise $41.25 million.  

At the end of the quarter, the company said it had cash and cash equivalents of $91 million, and debts of less than $30 million. 
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