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PerkinElmer Cites Adoption of Cell Analysis Products for 3 Percent Q4 Revenue Growth

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PerkinElmer reported this week that its fourth-quarter revenues grew 3 percent, but the firm forecast that its 2009 revenues would be flat or down in the mid-single digits compared to 2008.

During the firm's fourth-quarter conference call this week, a PerkinElmer official said its offerings in the research market continue to benefit from recent new product releases in the reagent area and from increased adoption of cellular imaging and analysis tools.

PerkinElmer President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Friel said during the call that the company expects the research market to grow in the low- to mid-single digits throughout 2009.

According to PerkinElmer, fourth-quarter sales in its Life and Analytical Sciences segment, which houses its cell-based assay offerings, increased 3 percent to $390.3 million from $379.3 million in the year-ago period.

During the conference call, Friel said in terms of the biotech sector, PerkinElmer is seeing good opportunities to get its reagents and imaging equipment into larger biotech drug makers. He pointed out that smaller biotechs, on the other hand, are having a more difficult time obtaining funding.

Friel also said that PerkinElmer is seeing interest from the academic community, which is perhaps driven by an anticipated government stimulus package that could buoy life science research.

Though overall receipts grew 3 percent to $495 million from $480.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, PerkinElmer forecast that full-year 2009 revenues would be flat or down in the mid-single digits compared to full-year 2008. They also said they expect 2009 EPS to be down mid-single digits to mid-teens.

PerkinElmer posted a profit of $30.7 million, or $.26 per share, down from a profit of $52.6 million, or $.44 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2007

R&D expenses during the quarter declined 7 percent to $25.1 million from $26.9 million year over year, while SG&A spending decreased 4 percent to $120.5 million from $125.7 million in the year-ago period.

For full-year 2008, PerkinElmer said revenues jumped 12 percent to $1.94 billion from $1.7 billion in 2007. For full-year 2008, total net income slipped 4 percent to $126.4 million, or $1.07 per share, from $131.7 million, or $1.09 per share, in full-year 2007.

Meantime, R&D spending for the full-year 2008 rose 4 percent to $108.1 million from $104 million year over year, while its SG&A spend rose 19 percent to $522.9 million from $439.8 million year over year.

PerkinElmer finished the year with $179.1 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company has over the past few years been trying to grow its bio-discovery efforts and to focus on cellular research in particular. For example, earlier this month, PerkinElmer and IDBS announced a deal to integrate their high-content-screening and imaging data-management tools (see CBA News, 1/11/09). Terms of that deal call for PerkinElmer to integrate its Columbus Conductor image-analysis solution with the ActivityBase XE screening data-management software.

At last month’s American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting, PerkinElmer launched 11 new AlphaScreen SureFire assay kits designed to rapidly detect full-length kinase activation in cell lysates (see CBA News, 12/19/09). The new assay kits bring to 39 the total number of AlphaScreen SureFire kits in the company’s stable.

In November, PerkinElmer launched the Volocity 5 high-performance imaging software suite, which the company said acquires three- and four-dimension images and allows researchers to visualize, deconvolute, and publish data; and measure, track, and chart cell objects (see CBA News, 11/21/09).

Earlier, the company launched its Columbus high-content screening data-management system, a platform that is designed to archive, manage, retrieve, and protect images and analyzed results. It debuted the product during a Society for Biomolecular Sciences symposium in October (see CBA News, 10/24/08).

Designed as a partner product for PerkinElmer's confocal microplate-imaging reader called Opera, the Columbus software is fully compatible with a wide range of image file formats, the company said.

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