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Life Technologies' Q1 Revenues up 1 Percent; Shares Rise

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its first-quarter revenues grew 1 percent with single-digit growth for its Genetic Systems and Cell Systems divisions and flat growth for its Molecular Biology Systems division.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based diversified research tools firm that was formed through last year's merger of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems brought in revenues of $784.9 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to revenues of $775.1 million for the first quarter of 2008 (assuming the combined operations of the two predecessor firms). Excluding the negative impact of foreign currency translation, revenues were up 5 percent year over year.

Sales for the Molecular Biology Systems division were flat year over year at $367 million, but were up 4 percent excluding currency effects. Sales for the Genetic Systems division, which includes the firm's sequencing products, were up 3 percent at $219 million, and up 6 percent excluding currency effects. Sales for the Cell Systems division grew 2 percent to $192 million, and were up 7 percent excluding currency effects.

The firm's mass spectrometry business, which is part of a joint venture with MDS, contributed $10 million in "other income" for the firm.

Life Technologies posted net income of $15.6 million, or $.09 per share, compared to $53.5 million, or $.53 per share. Excluding costs related to the merger, such as purchased intangibles amortization and business consolidation costs, the firm's net earnings would have been $125.6 million, or $.72 per share.

That EPS figure topped analysts' consensus estimate by $.15. Investors reacted enthusiastically to the results, sending Life Technologies' shares up 16 percent to $37 in Wednesday afternoon trade.

Life Technologies' R&D costs rose slightly to $79.5 million from pro forma R&D costs of $78.5 million in 2008. Its SG&A spending decreased 4 percent to $238.7 million from $248.3 million.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the results we delivered in our first full quarter as a combined company," Life Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said during the firm's conference call following the release of the earnings.

He noted that instrument and consumables revenue contributed equally to the revenue growth in the quarter.

The firm finished the quarter with $465.3 million in cash and short-term investments.

Company officials expect to report full-year 2009 organic revenue growth in the low single digits and EPS of between $2.40 and $2.55.

Lucier said that he expects most of the spending from stimulus funds will take place next year. He said that many in the industry are now focusing on the 2011 NIH budget, and he said that he expects the question to policymakers now is how to "sustain the elevated funding levels that the stimulus will give us in 2010. That's where we put our energy in our dialogue with legislators," he said.

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