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Life Technologies' Q3 Revenues Rise 3 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies today reported that its third-quarter revenues increased 3 percent, or 5 percent on an organic basis, while its net income also climbed higher.

The firm's results, which were driven by sales of products in its Molecular Biology Systems and Genetic Systems divisions, beat analysts' consensus estimates on both the top and bottom line.

Life Tech's total revenues for the three-month period ended Sept. 30 were $805.1 million compared to $784.1 million for the third quarter of 2008. Analysts, on average, had expected revenues of $791.2 million for the quarter.

Excluding the effects of foreign currency translation and the divestiture of its LIMS business unit, Life Tech's organic revenues rose 5 percent year over year.

The firm's Molecular Biology Systems division had revenues of $394 million for the quarter, up around 5 percent year over year, while its Genetic Systems division's revenues also climbed around 5 percent to $216 million. Its Cell Systems division had revenue of $189 million, a 3 percent decrease, while its Mass Spectrometry division — currently being sold to Danaher — contributed $6 million in other income on revenues of $111 million, a 2 percent increase.

"We saw good demand for our products and services around the globe, and began to receive the initial purchases emanating from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Life Tech Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said in a statement. "The company also achieved its integration goals for the quarter, the most notable accomplishment being the completion of the portfolio review, which resulted in the sale of our mass spectrometry joint venture to Danaher Corporation."

Life Tech's GAAP net income was $41.1 million, or $.22 per share, up from $18.8 million, or $.19 per share, in the prior year's third quarter. On an adjusted basis, its EPS was $.73 per share, easily beating analysts' consensus estimate of $.62 per share.

The firm's R&D spending inched up 2 percent to $81.9 million from $80 million, while its SG&A spending decreased 6 percent to $237.6 million from $252.4 million.

Life Tech finished the quarter with $580.4 million.

Life Tech CFO David Hoffmeister said during a conference call this morning that the firm expects fourth-quarter organic revenue growth to be in the high single digits. He also said that it expects full-year EPS to be in the range of $2.90-$2.95, well beyond analysts' current consensus estimate of $2.78.

Company officials also said during the call that the firm expects to increase its headcount in the coming year. "We'll be adding heads into Asia in 2010 quite aggressively," Lucier said. "Our China business is really flourishing, and we'll add a lot more heads into China for sales and service and back office capabilities."

He also said that the firm would staff for its sequencing business. "We're ramping up our R&D efforts on a number of different platforms — not just SOLiD, but technologies beyond that in single molecule sequencing," Lucier added.

He also said that the firm would soon announce some technology acquisitions, "nothing large, nothing transformative, but additive to the portfolio we have. I would say that many of these acquisitions will focus around really building out our applied business and continuing to build the platform of molecular diagnostics."

In early Tuesday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Life Technologies were up 3 percent at $48.62.