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UPDATE: Waters Q1 Revenues Up 7 Percent

This story has been updated to include comments from the company's earnings call.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Waters today reported that its revenues in the first quarter were up 7 percent year over year, with the company showing broad-based growth across the range of its customers, product lines, and geographies.

The company posted revenues of $460.4 million for the three months ended April 4, compared to $430.5 million in Q1 2014, beating the average Wall Street estimate of $445.3 million.

On a conference call following the earnings release, Waters CEO Douglas Berthiaume noted in particular the strong growth of the company's "business in the broadly defined life sciences and pharmaceutical market."

Geographically, the company's Waters division, which contains its mass spectrometry and life sciences businesses, saw US sales rise roughly 20 percent, with US government and academic sales up 7 percent, Berthiaume said.

Europe, meanwhile was up 13 percent, driven by strong life science, government, and academic spending. And the company continued its rebound inChina, where the Waters division saw 16 percent sales growth "with sales to life sciences and other private sector labs driving the overall sales growth," Berthiaume said, adding that this marked the second quarter in a row of double-digit growth inChinaafter several consecutive quarters of more sluggish growth.

Waters division instrument sales grew 15 percent in the first quarter, with growth balanced between LC and LC-MS platforms.

Berthiaume also highlighted the company's ongoing health science initiative, which, he said, aims to "position Waters as a leader in the emerging fields of mass spectrometry-based disease characterization and diagnosis."

He added that the company would provide details on forthcoming product launches stemming from the initiative at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry annual meeting in June.

The Milford, Mass.-based company posted a profit of $96.1 million, or $1.15 per share, for the quarter compared to a profit of $70.3 million, or $.82 per share, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, Waters had EPS of $1.21, above the average analyst estimate of $1.02.

The firm's R&D spending was up 21 percent year over year to $29.0 million from $24.7 million a year ago, while SG&A costs fell 5 percent to $119.8 million from $126.6 million.

The company ended the quarter with $2.11 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and investments.

Waters said that it expects Q2 sales growth of around 7 percent but that currency translation would reduce this figure by 7 percent. It predicted Q2 earnings per share of between $1.20 and $1.30.

For full-year 2015, it provided guidance of mid-single-digit sales growth before currency translation, but it expects currency effects will reduce its sales growth by roughly 6 percent. The company said it anticipates earnings per share in the $5.67 to $5.87 range.

In Tuesday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Waters were up 5 percent at $128.12.