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Waters Posts 3 Percent Revenue Decline for Q3, but Beats Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Waters today reported a 3 percent decline in its third quarter revenues year over year, but the firm said that it sees a stabilization in its end markets after a difficult first half of the year.

The Milford, Mass.-based firm reported total revenues of $374 million for the three-month period ended Oct. 3, down from $386.3 million for Q3 2008. The firm said that 1 percent of that decline was due to adverse foreign currency translation.

Though its total revenues were down year over year, it beat analysts' consensus estimate of $363.5 million. It also improved upon results in the first half of the year, during which Waters' revenues were down 5 percent in Q2 and 6 percent in Q1 compared to the previous year's figures.

"Business trends in the third quarter suggest a stabilization of demand by our major end markets," Waters Chairman, President, and CEO Douglas Berthiaume said in a statement. "Customer interest in our new products is encouraging and indicates that research-related spending may benefit our future results."

Waters' net income for the quarter increased 6 percent to $75.9 million, or $.79 per share, from $71.5 million, or $.71 per share. Analysts, on average, had expected, EPS of $.77.

The firm's R&D spending declined slightly to $19.3 million from $19.9 million, while its SG&A spending dropped 4 percent to $102.7 million from $107.5 million. Its net income also was helped by a lower provision for income taxes, which was $18.1 million for the most recent quarter compared to $22 million the year before.

Waters finished the quarter with $578.1 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

In early trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Waters' shares were up 3 percent at $57.84.

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