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Bruker Q4 Revenues Up 13 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bruker reported after the close of the market Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues were up 13 percent year over year.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the company reported revenues of $530.5 million, up from $470.3 million in Q4 2016, and beating the average analyst estimate of $504.0 million.

Organic revenue growth during the quarter was 4 percent, with acquisitions contributing 4 percent and foreign currency translation boosting revenues 5 percent.

For the quarter, Bruker recorded a net loss attributable to the company of $3.4 million, or $.02 per share, compared to net income of $69.0 million, or $.43 per share, in Q4 2016. On an adjusted basis, Bruker reported Q4 EPS of $.51, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.49. The firm noted that Q4 earnings were affected by the recent changes in the US tax law, which resulted in Bruker recording a charge of $68.9 million in the quarter.

Bruker's Q4 R&D costs rose 14 percent to $43.5 million from $38.2 million the year before, while its SG&A expenses rose 12 percent to $112.1 million from $100.1 million year over year.

For full-year 2017, Bruker's revenues rose 10 percent to $1.77 billion from $1.61 billion in 2016, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $1.74 billion. Currency effects boosted revenues by 1 percent, while acquisitions increased revenues by 5 percent. Organically, revenues rose 4 percent, the firm said.

Bruker's net income attributable to the company for 2017 fell to $78.6 million, or $.49 per share, from $153.6 million, or $.95 per share, in 2016. The firm again attributed this drop to a charge it had to take following changes in US tax laws. On an adjusted basis, Bruker reported EPS of $1.21, beating the Wall Street estimate of $1.19.

On a conference call following release of the earnings results, Bruker President and CEO Frank Laukien highlighted the company's "strong finish to the year," noting that 2017 revenue growth and non-GAAP EPS exceeded its recently increased full year guidance.

This was driven by more than 3 percent organic growth in Bruker's scientific instruments (BSI) segment and nearly 12 percent organic growth in its energy and supercon technologies (BEST) segment, he said, citing improvement in academic and industrial end markets as well as "strong MRI and big science demand" as key factors.

Bruker's CALID group, which houses its life sciences mass spec business, grew in the mid-single digits in 2017, with a recovery in European academic markets driving growth in mass spec revenues.

Looking ahead, Laukien said Bruker expected to see growing contributions from its pharma and biopharma business in 2018. He noted that the company's mass spec portfolio was a key driver of growth in its biopharma business in Q4 2017, a trend he expects will continue this year.

Laukien also said the company's recently released timsTOF mass spec, which it targeted to academic and government customers, would have less of an impact on revenues in 2018, but that it could generate significant sales in 2019 and 2020.

"I think we'll see some nice adoption there this year, but starting at a lower level so it's not going to be needle moving," he added.

Laukien further noted Bruker that expects to see sales of its MALDI instruments slow in places like China as those markets become more saturated for its MALDI Biotyper microbiology platform. However, he said that MALDI continues to move into new application end markets such as mass spec imaging and drug screening.

Bruker's 2017 R&D costs increased 9 percent year over year to $162.7 million from $149.0 million, while its SG&A spending rose 7 percent to $415.9 million from $390.5 million.

Bruker exited 2017 with $325.0 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments worth $114.2 million.

For 2018, the company said it expects revenue growth of approximately 7 percent, including organic revenue growth of approximately 3 percent, and a foreign currency revenue tailwind of about 4 percent. Bruker also said it expects adjusted EPS of $1.34 to $1.38 for the year. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.34 per share for the year.

The company expects to see "modest organic revenue growth improvement in our BSI segment, partially offset by a projected low-single digit year-over-year organic decline in the BEST segment" in 2018, Laukien added.

In Friday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Bruker were up more than 2 percent at $32.34.