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Waters' Q2 Revenues Inch up But Miss Analyst Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Waters today said that revenues for the second quarter inched up 1 percent, as the firm missed analyst estimates on the top line.

For the three months ended June 30, the firm posted revenues of $451.5 million, up just under 1 percent from $447.6 million for the second quarter of 2011, but missing Wall Street expectations of $458.4 million. Its organic growth for the quarter was 4 percent.

"H-Class Acquity LC and Xevo Tandem Quadropole systems, especially our ultra-sensitive Xevo TQS, continue to drive instrument systems growth," Waters Chairman, President, and CEO Douglas Berthiaume said on a conference call following the release of the results. "A combination of competitive pressure as well as the ASMS introduction of our new high performance Xevo QTOF G2-S, a system that will begin shipping in volume in the third quarter, resulted in a quarterly decline for high-end systems sales. We are encouraged by the ASMS customer reception and subsequent positive responses to recent demonstrations of our newly introduced Xevo QTOF G2-S and our Unify-based UPLC-MS/MS solutions."

However, Berthiaume also noted that "a big piece of that [high end mass spec] market is into non-profit government and academic labs. We're worried about that segment of the market more than others. We are beginning to ship our high end G2-S product, so we're hopeful that can stimulate things, but overall we're not holding out for a return to aggressive growth rates in that segment of the MS market."

Waters' profit for the quarter slid to $97.7 million, or $1.09 per share, from $100.1 million, or $1.07 per share, year over year. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS was $1.17, just above analyst estimates of $1.16.

"Operational efficiency allowed us to achieve our profitability objectives in light of challenging market conditions associated with a generally weaker global economic environment," Berthiaume noted in a statement.

The company recorded R&D expenses of $23.9 million, up 4 percent from $23.0 million a year ago, while SG&A expenses were down 2 percent to $122.7 million, from $125.4 million a year ago.

Waters finished the quarter with $1.39 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

Waters officials said on the conference call that they expect the firm to report FY 2012 EPS of between $4.90 and $5.00 with organic revenue growth of 2 percent to 3 percent. Currency exchange is expected to lower its revenues by around 3 percent.

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