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Life Tech's Q1 Revenues Increase 2 Percent on Genetic Analysis, Applied Sciences Sales

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies reported after the close of the market on Thursday that revenues for the first quarter increased more than 2 percent year over year on a GAAP basis, or more than 4 percent excluding currency effects.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based firm said that for the three months ended March 31, GAAP revenues totaled $962.5 million, up from $939.1 million, and surpassing the consensus Wall Street estimate of $958.6 million.

On a non-GAAP basis the company reported $962.9 million in revenues, up 3 percent from $939.0 million a year ago.

"Strong sales" in its Ion Torrent business, as well as in the bioproduction and forensics businesses, drove revenue growth in the quarter. That was partially offset by expected declines in SOLiD sales and lower research consumables and capital equipment sales resulting from the expected slowdown in the US, as "the threat of sequestration impacted customer buying patterns," the company said.

By business group, Research Consumables sales narrowed 3 percent year over year to $409 million. Genetic Analysis revenues rose 3 percent to $365 million, driven by Ion Torrent and royalties, including licensing deals. In addition to the decline in SOLiD product sales, CE instrument sales were down year over year, Life Tech said.

Applied Sciences sales increased 17 percent to $189 million due to demand in bioproduction and forensics.

Life Tech had a profit of $121.1 million or $.69 per share, compared to a profit of $132.6 million, or $.72 per share, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS was $1.07, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $1.04.

The company is in the process of being bought by Thermo Fisher Scientific for $13.6 billion, and did not hold a conference call to discuss its results.

In a statement, Life Tech Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said the firm had "a successful start to the year with strength across our Applied Sciences and Genetic Analysis business groups, including double-digit growth in both our bioproduction and forensics businesses, which drove revenues and earnings growth above our guidance expectations."

"Our end markets remained in line with our expectations, with strength in emerging markets and across much of Asia, and continued cautious spending in the United States and Europe, as expected," he added. "During the quarter, we continued our rapid pace of innovation with new bioinformatics tools for Ion Torrent and software for our synthetic biology business. We also continued to execute against our strategy to expand in growth and emerging markets as we entered into new collaborations in stem cells, Rapid DNA products, and acquired our reagent distributor in South Korea."

The firm lowered its R&D spending in the quarter 6 percent to $83.5 million from $88.6 million a year ago. SG&A costs increased 7 percent to $271.2 million from $253.4 million.

Life Tech exited the quarter with $292.6 million in cash and short-term investments.

For the second quarter, it anticipates revenues in the range of $950 million to $955 million. Non-GAAP EPS is expected in the range of between $.94 and $.97.