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Life Technologies' Q2 Revenues Rise 1 Percent; Board Approves $750M Share Buyback Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies said after the close of the market on Tuesday that revenues in the second quarter increased 1 percent year over year.

The company also said that its board has approved a $750 million share repurchase program on top of the $62 million that remains from its existing repurchase program.

Revenues for the period ended June 30 came in at $949.3 million, up from $941.1 million a year ago, and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $945.2 million. On a non-GAAP basis total revenues were $949.6 million versus $944.8 million for Q2 2011.

By business group, Genetic Analysis saw revenues dip 6 percent year over year to $353 million on a non-GAAP basis. Excluding currency impact, revenues in the group were down also 6 percent due to an expected $30 million decline in SOLiD instrument sales and an $8 million decline in qPCR royalties, Life Tech said. That was offset by better sales of Ion Torrent instruments, it added, and excluding SOLiD and qPCR results, Genetic Analysis was up 5 percent year over year.

Research Consumables revenues inched up 1 percent on a non-GAAP basis to $403 million, Life Tech said. Excluding currency effects, the group saw revenues grow 1 percent as a result of improved sales in cell culture products, benchtop instruments, and molecular biology consumables.

Applied Sciences rose 15 percent year over year to $194 million on a non-GAAP basis. Growth, excluding currency effect, was also 15 percent, due to increases in BioProduction and Forensics.

In the second quarter, Life Tech saw its profit rise to $122.3 million, or $.67 per share, compared to a profit of $95.4 million, or $.52 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $.96, just short of the average analyst estimate of $.97.

The company shaved R&D costs 7 percent to $84.8 million from $91.1 million a year ago, but saw SG&A spending increase 4 percent to $266 million from $254.8 million.

Highlights during the quarter included the launch of its new Ion AmpliSeq clinical research products, record sales of its QuantStudio digital qPCR instruments, and the acquisitions of Navigenics and Pinpoint Genomics, Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said in a statement.

On a conference call following the release of the results, Lucier said that the firm's end markets remain in line with expectations, with strength in emerging markets and the Asia Pacific region. He said the US provided a "cautious but stable environment," while Western Europe weakened at the end of the quarter.

Lucier also said that Life Tech has now installed "well over 1,000 Ion PGM sequencers in labs around the world."

For the remainder of 2012, the company expects continued "solid" growth in its Ion Torrent platform as it prepares to begin shipping the Ion Proton platform in September, he said, adding the firm expects to see growth in the emerging and applied markets.

Separately, Life Tech said that the New York Genome Center — which recently signed a 20-year lease for 170,000-square-feet of space in lower Manhattan — has purchased four Ion Proton instruments for its new Innovation Center.

Based primarily on increased headwinds from currency and more conservative expectations for Life Tech's European operations, the firm changed its 2012 guidance, however. Organic revenue growth for the full year is now anticipated to be at the low end of a previously guided range of 2 percent to 4 percent from 2011 revenues of $3.7 billion.

It also lowered the top end of its non-GAAP EPS guidance range by $.05 to a new range of $3.90 to $4.00. The changes to EPS guidance is based on weaker foreign exchange rates in June as well as dilution from the Navigenics and Pinpoint purchases.

Life Tech finished the quarter with $303.5 million in cash and short-term investments.

Also, during the quarter it repurchased 3.6 million shares of its stock for $150 million. Year to date, it said, it has bought back $335 million worth, or 7.6 million shares, of its stock.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based firm announced today that its board has approved a new repurchase program to buy back up to $750 million of its stock, on top of the existing repurchase authorization of $200 million approved in July 2011.

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