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Waters, PE, Beckman Coulter Report Strong Q4 Growth; PE Discloses Waters Alliance

Last week, several of the BioCommerce Week index companies reported their earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004.

Highlights of selected companies’ financial reports follow.

Waters Sees 40-Percent
Growth in Mass Spec

Driven by a 40-percent growth in sales of its mass-spectrometry technology, Waters last week reported fourth-quarter sales of $324 million, up 18 percent over $275 million in sales for the same quarter last year.

Doug Berthiaume, Waters chairman, CEO, and president, said the increase reflected greater demand, but also showed a “pretty weak fourth quarter last year.”

The company did not disclose revenue figures for its mass-spec sales; the 40-percent number was reported in Waters’ conference call to investors last week.

“The growth is higher than I’d expect the true momentum as being,” Berthiaume said in the conference call. Mass spec sales were driven by the launch of the Acquity UPLC and Qtof Premier products, the company said in a statement.

For the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2004, Waters spent $16.5 million on R&D in the quarter, compared to $16.8 million in the year-ago period.

The company had net income of $72 million for the quarter, up 22 percent over $58 million for the year-ago quarter. Waters reported cash and cash equivalents of $539 million on hand as of Dec. 31.

A total of 65 percent of the company’s revenues in the quarter came from instrument sales, 25 percent from service, and 10 percent from the sale of consumables.

PerkinElmer Reveals Neonatal
Screening Partnership with Waters

PerkinElmer CEO Greg Summe told analysts last week that Waters is its partner in its neonatal screening business. Waters provides its tandem mass spectrometers, while PerkinElmer provides the overall system in a business that provided 19 percent of PKI’s revenues in the fourth quarter.

In November, the company announced that it had been selected to supply tandem mass spectrometry systems in support of California’s expanded newborn screening program.

Summe said it takes about six months for screening labs to “get up and running before volume testing begins.”

He declined to comment about possibilities in other states, other than to say that there is “strong momentum for everybody to adopt a 30-test standard of care,” for the screening of newborns.”

The company’s genetic-screening programs are managed by its Life and Analytical Sciences segment, which charted 7-percent growth in the quarter with revenues of $312 million, up from $290 million a year ago. The company’s optoelectonics unit, which houses its medical imaging and sensors segments, reported 12-percent growth with revenues of $101.5 million in the period, compared to $90 million a year ago. Its fluid sciences segment improved 27 percent to $65 million from $51 million a year ago.

Overall total revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004, improved to $478 million from $431.8 million in the year-ago period.

PerkinElmer’s R&D expenses for the fourth quarter of 2004 were up $4.7 million to $23.6 million.

Net income grew 27 percent, as PerkinElmer reported $37.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to $27.9 million year-over-year.

PerkinElmer had around $197.5 million in cash and equivalents as of Jan. 2.

Beckman Coulter Sees
Q4 Revenues Grow 9 Percent

Beckman Coulter last week reported revenues of $694 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, an increase of 9 percent over $639 million for the year-ago period.

Beckman’s net earnings for the period were $60 million, down 15 percent from last year’s $70 million in the fourth quarter.

The company said the drop in net revenues was a consequence of growing sales of its diagnostic instrument systems, which should result in increased revenue in the future from the consumption of aftermarket test kits, the company said. Beckman did not say when it expects the growth to materialize.

Beckman reported R&D expenditures of $54 million for the quarter, compared to $55 million for the year-ago quarter. The company had cash and cash equivalents of $68 million on hand as of Dec. 31.

David Daniels, application marketing manager for Beckman Coulter, told BioCommerce Week that the company expects to roll out its sample preparation automation technology for Affymetrix GeneChips late in the second quarter.

— Mo Krochmal ([email protected])

BioCommerce Index Companies Reporting Dec. 31 ‘04 Earnings

  • Agilent: Feb. 14
  • Bio-Rad: Feb. 17
  • Bruker BioScience: No date set
  • Harvard Bioscience: March 4
  • Invitrogen: Feb. 17
  • Molecular Devices: Feb. 11
  • Sigma-Aldrich: Feb. 8
  • Stratagene: Feb. 7
  • Thermo: Feb. 2
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