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Bio-Rad Q1 Revenues Down 7 Percent on Currency Headwinds

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Bio-Rad said after the close of the market on Tuesday that its first quarter revenues were down 7 percentdue to currency headwinds.

The Hercules, California-based life science research products and clinical diagnostics firm reported revenues of $472.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, down from $509.3 million in Q1 2014 and also falling short of the consensus analyst estimate of $474.6 million.

On a currency-neutral basis, quarterly revenues increased about 1 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Currency headwinds represented a negative impact on sales of nearly $44 million dollars, CFO Christine Tsingos said during a conference call recapping the company's earnings.

Bio-Rad's Life Science segment recorded net sales of $155.9 million in Q1, down 3 percent compared to the year-ago period. On a currency-neutral basis, Life Science segment sales increased 4 percent.

"This growth was driven by continued strong demand for our droplet digital PCR products as well as strong sales of process chromatography media, and our cell biology products," Tsingos said. 

Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics sales were $313.6 million in Q1, down about 9 percent year over year. On a currency neutral basis, revenues for this segment increased a fraction of a percent.

The slower overall growth in this segment "reflects continued competitive and pricing pressures, especially in Europe, partially offset by good double-digit currency-neutral growth in China and the emerging markets," Tsingos said.

The firm's net income in the first quarter was $17.8 million, or $.61 per share, compared to $6.7 million, or $.23 per share, during the same quarter last year. On average, Wall Street had expected earnings per share of $.33. Bio-Rad didn't provide an adjusted EPS figure for the quarter.

The company logged $188.6 million in SG&A expenses, a nearly 7 percent decrease from $202.3 million in Q1 2014.

"This lower SG&A expense during the quarter benefitted from a strong US dollar," Tsingos said. "When comparing to last year, remember that during the first quarter of 2014 we recorded an accrual of $9.8 million related to the [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] matter."

R&D expenses declined approximately 10 percent to $47.2 million from $52.5 million in the year-ago period, primarily due to the timing of various projects, Tsingos noted.

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $425.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $285.0 million in short-term investments.

Company executives noted during the call that Bio-Rad has numerous new product launches in the queue and hopes to market a product in 2016 related to its acquisition of GnuBio in the first quarter last year.