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Beckman Coulter's Q4 Revenues Rise 22 Percent Aided by Olympus Acquisition

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter reported after the close of the market Thursday that its fourth-quarter revenues increased 22 percent, with the addition of Olympus Diagnostics' revenues contributing 14 percent of that growth.

The Orange County, Calif.-based diagnostics and life science research tools firm brought in total revenues of $989.6 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to $811.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Olympus Diagnostics, which Beckman Coulter acquired for $780 million last summer, contributed $120.2 million in revenue for the quarter. Analysts, on average, had expected Q4 2009 revenues of $963.2 million.

Beckman Coulter's recurring revenue was $766.4 million, up from $610 million year over year, while its cash instrument sales were $223.2 million compared to $201.3 million. Excluding Olympus' contribution, the firm's cash instrument sales declined 2 percent in constant currency.

Excluding the effects of currency translation and the Olympus acquisition, Beckman Coulter's Q4 sales increased around 4 percent.

Beckman Coulter's Clinical Diagnostics sales totaled $832.5 million compared to $665.3 million for Q4 2008. Within the Dx segment, its chemistry and clinical automation sales grew 51 percent to $346.7 million; its cellular analysis sales increased 9 percent to $266.4 million; and its immunoassay and molecular diagnostics sales increased 15 percent to $219.3 million. Its Life Sciences segment sales increased around 8 percent to $157.1 million from $146 million.

"Cash instrument sales continued to be constrained due to economic conditions," Scott Garrett, chairman, president, and CEO of Beckman Coulter, said during the firm's conference call. "The rate of decline of cash instrument sales slowed down in the quarter but still decreased around 2 percent."

He added, "Hospital customers are continuing to be cautious with new long-term commitments in this economic environment and are more frequently choosing operating-type leases over capital purchases."

The firm's net income for the quarter was $64.2 million, or $.90 per share, compared to $75.1 million, or $1.18 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008. The quarter included charges of $13.4 million for amortization of intangible assets and $25.1 million for restructuring and acquisition-related costs, compared to $7.3 million and $8.2 million for such charges the year previous. Its adjusted EPS was $1.29, besting analysts' consensus estimate of $1.26.

Beckman Coulter's R&D spending increased 14 percent to $74.1 million from $64.9 million, and its SG&A spending increased 17 percent to $223.3 million from $190.2 million.

For full-year 2009, Beckman Coulter had revenues of $3.26 billion, up 5 percent from $3.1 billion. Excluding the impact of currency translation and the Olympus acquisition, its revenues were up nearly 2 percent for the year.

Its recurring revenues were $2.65 billion compared to $2.4 billion in 2008, while its cash instrument sales were $615.4 million, down from $696.3 million for 2008.

The firm's Clinical Diagnostics segment had sales of $2.79 billion, up nearly 8 percent from $2.59 billion. Within that segment, sales of chemistry and clinical automation products grew 17 percent to $1.06 billion; sales of cellular analysis products decreased 2 percent to $935.3 million; and sales of its immunoassay and molecular diagnostics increased 8 percent to $798.3 million.

Beckman Coulter's net income for FY 2009 was $147.1 million, or $2.18 per share, down from $186 million, or $2.89 per share, for 2008. Charges for amortization of intangible assets were $39.6 million compared to $29.6 million the year prior, and charges for restructuring and acquisition-related costs were $152.3 million compared to $21.4 million in 2008. Full-year 2008 also included a $19 million charge for environmental remediation.

The firm's R&D spending for the year declined 5 percent to $266.4 million from $280.1 million, while its SG&A expenses increased 2 percent to $811.6 million from $793.4 million.

Beckman Coulter finished the year with $288.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Garrett said in a statement that the firm expects to report full-year 2010 revenues of between $3.8 billion and $3.9 billion, which would include a contribution of between $480 million and $500 million from the Olympus Diagnostics acquisition. That guidance is slightly above analysts' consensus estimate of $3.78 billion.

The firm also expects 2010 EPS of $4.40-$4.55.

"We continue to leverage our channel presence and customer relationships to pursue many significant long-term growth opportunities including China, immunoassay and cellular analysis," Garrett said.

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