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UPDATE: Paced by Life Sciences and Diagnostics, Danaher's Q3 Revenues Grow 6 Percent

The story has been updated to include comments from Danaher's conference call this morning.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Danaher's sales for the third quarter rose 6 percent year over year as its Life Sciences and Diagnostics segment grew almost 11 percent, the company reported today.

For the three months ended Sept. 27, the Washington-based conglomerate saw sales improve to $4.67 billion from $4.42 billion a year ago, edging out the consensus Wall Street estimate of $4.62 billion.

Core revenues were up 3 percent year over year, the company said, while acquisitions added another 3 percent to growth. The impact of currency translation lowered growth by .5 percent.

The Life Sciences and Diagnostics segment, Danaher's largest, saw sales rise to $1.68 billion in the quarter, up from $1.52 billion a year ago. Sales from existing businesses within the segment grew 6 percent year over year, and acquisitions added more than 5 percent to growth. The impact of currency translation dragged down growth by 1 percent, Danaher said in its Form 10-Q filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Growth in LS&D resulted from increased demand in the clinical, acute care, and pathology diagnostic businesses. Consumables and automation hardware in the clinical diagnostic business saw "strong" sales in high-growth markets, more than offsetting "slightly" negative year-over-year sales in North America and Europe.

Core revenues in diagnostics grew in the mid-single digits, and Beckman Coulter sales were up in the low-single digits, Danaher President and CEO Lawrence Culp said on a conference following the release of the company's earnings. He added that growth in Beckman Coulter occurred across all product lines, "particularly clinical automation and immunoassay."

During the quarter the US Food and Drug Administration cleared Beckman Coulter's Access AccuTnl+3 troponin l assay for use on the company's UniCel Dxl series of immunoassay instruments. In June, FDA gave 510(k) clearance to the assay for use on the company's Access 2 immunoassay system.

"This clearance marks an important milestone for our customers and the Beckman Coulter team," Culp said on the conference call. "For the first time since 2010 Beckman can offer the troponin assay to existing and new customers in the US for use on all of our immunoassay and integrated chemistry … systems."

With the regulatory hurdled cleared, Beckman can now focus on retaining existing customers and gaining new ones "and actively increase growth investments in the business," he added.

Its mass spectrometry business, housed within AB Sciex, saw "strong" growth in the applied and clinical research markets, as well as in pharma, Danaher said, though sales of the instruments in the academic research market were down. Overall, the business grew in the high-single digits, Culp said.

Among the firm's other segments, Test and Measurement sales declined to $808.6 million from $814.5 million, while Environmental grew to $828.7 million from $754.4 million. Dental was up to $510.2 million from $488.9 million, and Industrial Technologies increased to $846.5 million from $839.6 million.

Danaher posted a profit of $597.0 million, or $.84 per share, in the quarter, compared to a profit of $548.7 million, or $.77 per share a year ago, and just beat the average analyst estimate of $.83 per share.

The firm's R&D costs in the third quarter increased 7 percent to $309.1 million from $289.5 million a year ago, and SG&A spending rose 4 percent to $1.30 billion from $1.25 billion.

For the fourth quarter, Danaher forecast EPS to be in the range of $.91 to $.96. The company reaffirmed EPS for full-year 2013 of between $3.60 and $3.65.

In Thursday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Danaher were up almost 5 percent at $72.34.

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