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Waters

The proceeds will primarily be used to repay other outstanding debt.

In the midst of reporting a 3 percent revenue increase for Waters fourth quarter, CEO Douglas Berthiaume said a planned new quadrupole instrument launch, shipping of its Synapt G2 instrument, and mass spec-based stimulus grants could portend a strong year for the company's mass spec business.

The system is designed for researchers "who have been attracted by the promise of UPLC but remain reluctant to change largely because of their comfort levels with existing HPLC systems and techniques," a Waters official said.

Waters' revenues for Q4 were down 1 percent organically, with flat instrument sales for its Waters division.

Marc Casper made his remarks at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference this week, where other mass-spec vendors said the economic meltdown wasn't as bad as originally feared.

Officials from the company said Thermo Fisher's R&D investments would target mass spectrometry, specialty diagnostics, and bioscience reagents.

A Beckman Coulter official provided an update on revenue guidance and the firm's pending molecular diagnostics system; while an Agilent executive discussed the company's pending Varian acquisition and new UHPLC system.

The investment bank upped its estimates for the firm, citing a recent meeting with executives who said that they continue to see a stabilization in end markets.

October was a tough month for tech stocks, and biotech stocks in particular. The GWDN Index fell 5 percent, with Affymetrix and Helicos recording the biggest declines for the month.

Despite the decline in instrument sales, company officials touted the relative success of Waters' five-year-old Acquity system, nine additional units of which were recently purchased by the FDA.

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