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Bio-Rad's Q3 Revenues Rise 10 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its third-quarter revenues rose 10 percent, helped by the effects of currency translation.

The diagnostics and research tools company reported total revenues of $516.5 million for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, compared to $471.5 million for the same period a year ago. That beat Wall Street analysts' estimate of $511.5 million for the quarter. On a currency-neutral basis, its Q3 revenues increased 1 percent year over year.

"While performance in the third-quarter shows good momentum and growth in many of our core product areas, we are feeling the impact of an uncertain economic environment in many of our markets abroad," Bio-Rad President and CEO Norman Schwartz said in a statement. "As we wrap up the year, we will carefully monitor these pressures on our global operation and look for new opportunities to grow our business."

The firm's Life Science segment saw a 12 percent revenue increase year over year to $171.5 million. The company said its electrophoresis and imaging products lines has "solid growth" over the quarter, and that sales in the segment were bolstered by its amplification products, newly-launched products, and assays for the Bio-Plex suspension array system. On a currency-neutral basis revenues for the segment were up 5 percent.

Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics segment was up 8 percent to $341.3 million for the quarter. But on a currency-neutral basis, segment sales were down 1 percent. The company said that "economic challenges affecting worldwide healthcare markets" had a negative impact on its Clinical Diagnostics business.

Bio-Rad's net income for the quarter was $45.9 million, or $1.61 per share, compared to $44.8 million, or $1.59 per share, for Q3 2010.

The firm's R&D spending for the quarter was $45.4 million, up 6 percent from $42.9 million. Its SG&A expenses increased 19 percent to $176.9 million from $148.7 million.

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $671 million in cash and cash equivalents and $239.2 million in short-term investments.

Just after the end of the quarter the firm announced that it had acquired digital PCR systems maker QuantaLife for $162 million in cash plus potential future milestone payments. On a conference call following the release of the financial results, Brad Crutchfield, manager of Bio-Rad's life sciences group, said that the firm is at the beginning stages of rolling out the QantaLife product in the US and expects a "greater release at the end of the year for the rest of the world."

Bio-Rad President and CEO Norman Schwartz added that the QuantaLife technology targets a market that is worth "several hundred million dollar[s]."

The firm trimmed its FY 2011 organic revenue guidance to a range of between 3.5 percent and 4 percent, down from previous expectations of 5 percent.

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