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Varian's Q1 Revenues Slip in Advance of Agilent Merger Completion

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Varian has reported a 3 percent decline in its first quarter results, as the firm nears completion of its merger with Agilent Technologies.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of scientific instruments and other technologies today filed its first quarter financial report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

It reported total revenues of $201.2 million for the three-month period ended Jan. 1, compared to $208.2 million for the first quarter of 2009. Sales for its scientific instruments segment fell to $166.6 million from $171.8 million, while its vacuum technologies segment dropped to $34.6 million from $36.4 million.

According to the SEC filing, the decline in scientific instruments sales was "primarily attributable to lower sales volume and lower average selling prices of certain analytical instruments products partly offset by increased sales volume of our research products and consumables products." The firm also cited "the negative impact of customers' uncertainty and employee and other disruptions related to the announcement and pendency of the acquisition by Agilent … and by the impact of continued global economic weakness on capital equipment spending."

Agilent agreed in July 2009 to acquire Varian for around $1.5 billion. The deal will expand Agilent's product portfolio into atomic and molecular spectroscopy and in other fields including nuclear magnetic resonance, imaging, and vacuum technologies, as well as increase its presence in certain life science, environmental, and energy markets.

European Union regulatory authorities recently granted antitrust clearance of Agilent's proposed acquisition of Varian, with conditions that include the sale of certain product lines. Though clearance by the US Federal Trade Commission is still pending, the firms said that they do not expect additional remedies beyond those being taken in Europe to satisfy the FTC.

They expect to close the deal early this year.

Varian posted a profit of $8.1 million, or $.28 per share, down from a profit of $13 million, or $.45 per share, for the first quarter of 2009.

The firm's R&D spending was flat year over year at $14.5 million, while its SG&A spending decreased slightly to $59.9 million from $60.9 million.

Varian finished the quarter with $229.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

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