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Bio-Rad Q1 Revenues Flat on Currency Effects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported after the close of the market Thursday that its first quarter revenues were essentially flat year over year but increased 4 percent on a currency-neutral basis.

For the three months ended March 31, the Hercules, California-based company recorded $471.2 million in revenues compared to $472.8 million in Q1 2015. On a conference call to recap the company's earnings, Bio-Rad Vice President and CFO Christine Tsingos said that this decline reflects continued strong currency headwinds, which represented a negative impact on sales of nearly $20 million.

Life Science segment sales increased 6 percent year over year to $165.9 million. On a currency-neutral basis, Life Science sales increased 10 percent compared to the year-ago period. Growth in the segment was driven by sales of the firm's Droplet Digital PCR and process media products.

Meantime, Q1 Clinical Diagnostics sales dropped 4 percent to $301.7 million, but grew 1 percent on a currency-neutral basis. These results reflected modest growth across most product lines, most notable clinical immunology, quality controls, and diabetes products, Bio-Rad said.

During the quarter Bio-Rad received CE IVD marking for its QX200 Droplet Digital PCR system, which will allow clinical end users in Europe to use the platform for detection and quantification of nucleic acids to aid clinical decision making.

Also during the quarter, Bio-Rad and Illumina announced an exclusive partnership to develop a next-generation sequencing workflow for single-cell analysis that will leverage a modified version of the QX200 platform.

Bio-Rad also disclosed today that in Q1 it acquired a high-performance analytical flow cytometer platform from Propel Labs that will enable advanced and novice users to perform basic and multi-parameter cytometry for a wide range of applications and chemistries. Bio-Rad did not disclose financial details of the acquisition, but said that it expects to launch the instrument later this year.

Bio-Rad's net income in Q1 was $12.3 million, or $.42 per share, compared to $17.8 million, or $.61 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The company said that the decrease was due to lower gross margins during the quarter as well as an increase in R&D expenses, which rose 3 percent to $48.6 million from $47.2 million in the year-ago period. SG&A expenses, meanwhile, grew a half a percent to $189.7 million from $188.6 million.

Bio-Rad finished the quarter with $403.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $349.3 million in short-term investments.

During the earnings call, Tsingos reiterated the company's previously announced guidance of currency-neutral sales growth of 2.5 percent to 3 percent for 2016.