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Waters Q4 Revenues Up 3 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Waters today after the close of the market reported an 3 percent increase year over year in its fourth quarter revenues.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2014, Waters' total revenues increased to $584 million from $565 million in the prior-year period, besting the consensus analyst estimate of $582 million.

The effect of foreign currency translation reduced Q4 revenues by 5 percent, the company said.

On a conference call following the earnings release, Waters CEO Douglas Berthiaume said the quarter saw solid pharmaceutical and academic and government spending in the US and Europe, with strong uptake of the company's high-end mass spectrometry instruments.

Berthiaume added that China– which has proven a difficult market for mass spec vendors in recent quarters – showed encouraging signs, with growing shipment volumes and revenues up 13 percent for the company's Waters division.

Net income for the quarter was down to $151.3 million, or $1.80 per share, compared to a profit of $141.6. million, or $1.65 per share in Q4 2013. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $1.99, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $1.89.

R&D spending rose 6 percent year over year to $28.7 million from $27.0 million, while SG&A costs increased 1 percent to $131.9 million from $130.7 million.

Revenues for full-year 2014 increased 4 percent year over year to $1.99 billion from $1.90 billion. Before the effects of currency, revenues were up 6 percent, the company said.

Profits for the year were $431.6 million, or $5.07 per share, compared to $450.0 million, or $5.20 per share, in 2013. Adjusted EPS was $5.48, above the consensus analyst estimate of $5.40.

R&D costs were up 7 percent to $107.7 million from $100.5 million. SG&A spending rose to $512.7 million, up 4 percent from $493.0 million.

Waters ended the year with $2.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and investments.

For Q1 2015, Waters estimates adjusted EPS to be in the range of $.95 to $1.05, CFO Gene Cassis said on the call. Revenues are expected to grow at a high single-digit rate.

Adjusted EPS for full year 2015 is anticipated to be between $5.55 and $5.80 with sales growing in the mid single digits, he said.

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