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Life Technologies' Q1 Revenues Jump 14 Percent

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its first-quarter 2010 revenues increased 14 percent year over year, or 10 percent organically, with double-digit growth for all three of its divisions.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based firm also announced the acquisition of a small firm that makes a microfluidic system for a variety of molecular biology applications.

Life Technologies brought in total revenues of $884.9 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to $775.7 million for the first quarter of 2009. On a Non-GAAP basis, revenues were $887 million versus $785 million, up 13 percent and above analysts' consensus estimate of $864.4 million.

Its Molecular Biology Systems division reported revenue of $432 million, up 13 percent year over year, while its Genetic Systems division had revenue of $238 million, up 14 percent, and its Cell Systems division's revenue increased 11 percent to $214 million.

Life Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said during a conference call following the release of the results that revenues related to stimulus funding contributed around 3 percent of the growth in North America. "While we did not see a significant ramp up in stimulus revenues for the fourth quarter, we are still confident in our estimate of greater than $100 million over the life of this federal program," he said, however, adding that the firm now expects more of this revenue to now push into 2011.

Life Technologies' net income for the quarter was $91.5 million, or $.48 per share, on a GAAP basis, versus $15.6 million, or $.09 per share, for Q1 2009. On a Non-GAAP basis, its EPS was $.87 versus $.72, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $.80.

Its results for the first quarter of 2010 include a $54.2 million loss related to the early retirement of debt, offset by a gain of $45.1 million on the divestiture of equity investments.

The Q1 2010 profit also was positively impacted by $.14 due to the sale of its share of a mass spectrometry joint venture to Danaher.

The firm's R&D spending increased around 8 percent to $86.4 million from $80.3 million, while its SG&A spending climbed 8 percent to $259.7 million from $241.1 million.

Life Technologies finished the quarter with $641.9 million in cash and short-term investments.

The firm reiterated its expectations for full-year 2010 organic revenue growth in the mid- to high-single digits, with EPS of between $3.30 and $3.50 on a Non-GAAP basis.

Lucier said that the firm expects to grow revenue one to two percent faster than the market for the foreseeable future, primarily through the introduction of new products. He said the firm has focused its R&D efforts over the past two years on several key areas including genetic sequencing, synthetic biology, flow cytometry, benchtop devices, and PCR.

"Investments in these areas will increasingly move us into higher growth commercial and clinical realms," said Lucier.

Lucier also announced during the call that Life Technologies has acquired Stokes Bio, a privately held firm that has developed a microfluidic system for high-throughput gene expression, genotyping, and digital PCR. He said that applications for the system include "agriculture, drug discovery, translational research, and other applications being fueled by the rapid rate of discoveries by next-generation sequencing systems," such as Life Technologies' SOLiD system.

He did not disclose the purchase price of the deal.

In early Wednesday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Life Technologies were up 2 percent at $52.31.

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