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Danaher Q1 Revenues up 5 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Danaher today said that its first quarter sales grew 5 percent year over year, while its Life Science & Diagnostics segment grew 2 percent. 

For the three months ended April 3, the Washington-based conglomerate posted sales of $4.87 billion, up from $4.66 billion in the year-ago quarter, and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $4.83 billion. 

Core sales improved 5 percent year over year, while acquisitions added 6 percentage points to growth. Currency effects dampened results by 6.5 percent, the firm said. 

The Life Sciences & Diagnostics segment recorded $1.70 billion in sales, compared to $1.66 billion in Q1 2014. On a conference call, Danaher President and CEO Thomas Joyce said that core revenues in the segment grew 5 percent year over year as core life sciences revenues grew at a mid-single digit pace with solid performance in the USa nd Europe, and a return to growth in China. He added that sales in AB Sciex grew in the double digits, led by growth in the clinical and applied end markets. 

In the firm's Form 10-Q, Danaher also noted that its mass spectrometry business, housed in AB Sciex, continued to grow year over year, as improvement in North America, Western Europe, and China partially offset declines in Japan. 

"Strong commercial execution and investments in new products have resulted in meaningful share gains over the past several quarters," Joyce said on the call. 

Meanwhile, the diagnostics business saw mid-single digit growth year over year. Beckman Coulter grew in the mid-single digits, paced by its immunoassay and urinalysis sales, which were up in the double digits. 

Among Danaher's other segments, Test & Measurement sales slid to $857.5 million from $871 million, Environmental sales grew to $823.2 million from $768.7 million, Dental sales were up to $662.4 million from $509.7 million, and Industrial Technologies sales were down to $834.5 million from $853.7 million. 

Danaher posted a profit of $569.8 million, or $.79 per share, for Q1 2015, compared to a profit of $579.7 million, or $.81 per share, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS was $.93, matching the consensus Wall Street estimate. 

The firm increased its R&D spending 8 percent year over year to $339.1 million from $313.4 million, and grew its SG&A costs 10 percent to $1.49 billion from $1.35 billion. 

Danaher finished Q1 with $2.51 billion in cash and cash equivalents. 

For the second quarter, the company said that it anticipates EPS to be in the range of $.89 to $.93. On an adjusted basis, Danaher guided to an EPS range of $1.01 to $1.05. Core revenues are anticipated to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent, Joyce said. 

He added that Danaher is lowering its full-year 2015 adjusted EPS estimate to a new range of $4.23 to $4.33 from a previous range of $4.30 to $4.40, as the strengthening US dollar is estimated to reduce EPS by about $.07 per share. Danaher continues to anticipate core revenue growth of between 3 percent and 4 percent in 2015, Joyce said.  

"We had a very good start to 2015 delivering our highest quarter of core revenue growth since 2011," he said. "The team's solid execution using the Danaher Business System continues to drive relative out-performance and enhance our competitive position. We remain cognizant of the strengthening US dollar and a changing macroenvironment. However, we're confident that our focus on optimizing our portfolio and seizing high impact growth opportunities will help us build a better, strong Danaher in 2015 and the years to come."

In morning trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Danaher were down almost 1 percent at $84.47.