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Bruker Q4 Revenues Bounce 14 Percent

The story has been updated to include comments made by company officials during a conference call.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bruker today reported revenues in the fourth quarter grew 14 percent year over year.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, the company took in $475.1 million, up from $416.1 million a year ago, beating Wall Street estimates of $468.6.

Excluding the effects of acquisitions and foreign currency translation, revenues rose 12.2 percent year over year, Bruker said.

Bruker Scientific Instruments revenues grew 14 percent in the quarter to $445.8 million from $389.4 million a year ago, while Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies revenues increased 15 percent to $33.6 million from $29.3 million.

R&D costs narrowed slightly to $44.7 million from $44.9 million a year ago while SG&A spending rose to $116.1 million, up 22 percent from $95.4 million.

Frank Laukien, president and CEO of Bruker, said on a conference call following the release of the earnings results that the rise in SG&A spending increased due to investments in its Chemical & Applied Markets division, which was created in 2010 after Bruker acquired certain businesses from Varian and is housed in Bruker Scientific Instruments.

Investments in CAM are being made "across the board in all functions of that new division." Additionally Bruker is continuing investments in the distribution of all divisions "to really remain a fast growth company and, of course, to pull along the organic margin growth that we're seeking.

"There are a lot of new markets and market segments and opportunities that we are entering," Laukien said.

Bruker said profit for the quarter was $39.1 million, or $.23 per share, compared to $29.3 million or $.18 per share a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS was $.31, outpacing analyst expectations of $.29 per share.

Bruker Scientific Instruments recorded a net income of $41.9 million for the quarter, or $.25 per share, and $.33 per share on an adjusted basis. That compares to a net income of $31.7 million, or $.19 per share, and $.29 per share on an adjusted basis a year ago.

Laukien said in a statement that bookings in the quarter were "again excellent, and backlog increased further," and the company is "very well-positioned to capitalize" on trends including a shift to post-genomic research and epigenetics, functional and imaging proteomics, and protein and metabolite molecular diagnostics.

In January, the company reported that it expected fourth-quarter revenues to be about $465 million. Questioned about the difference between that figure and today's reported number, CFO William Knight said on the conference call that revenue forecasts are based on expected customer installations and acceptances "and we try to be a little conservative, but we were successful in getting that equipment installed and accepted … and that was what was reported for our revenue."

Laukien added on the call that the figure provided in January was not regarded as a preannouncement. "We just tried to give some color on the fourth quarter … and that was the best estimate that we had at that time."

For full-year 2011, Bruker posted revenues of $1.65 billion, up 27 percent from $1.30 billion in full-year 2010. Wall Street had estimated revenues of $1.64 billion.

On an organic basis revenues grew 9 percent year over year.

The company increased R&D spending 25 percent to $177.2 million from $141.4 million a year ago, while SG&A costs spiked 36 percent to $403.6 million from $297.3 million.

Bruker saw a profit of $92.3 million or, $.55 per share, compared to $95.4 million, or $.58 per share in 2010. Adjusted EPS was $.86, beating analyst expectations of $.82.

Bruker Scientific Instruments brought in $1.55 billion in revenues during the year, a 26 percent increase from $1.23 billion in 2010. The segment's profit was $104.1 million, or $.62 per share, compared to $103.4 million, or $.62 per share a year ago. Adjusted EPS for the segment was $.91, compared to $.81 a year ago.

Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies posted revenues of $113.4 million, a 25 percent improvement from $90.5 million in 2010.

Bruker ended 2011 with $248.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.

For Q1 2012, the company said it expects between $380 million and $390 million in revenues. Bruker Scientific Instrument adjusted EPS is expected to be in the range of $.11 to $.13, including CAM.

Laukien said CAM is expected to break even in 2013 and added that new products from CAM will be introduced this year with "some pretty significant" introductions slated for 2013.

Goals for full-year 2012 include currency-adjusted revenue growth of between 7 percent and 10 percent to $1.76 billion to $1.81 billion, the company said. Also, Bruker hopes adjusted EPS in Bruker Scientific Instruments to be in the range of $.94 and $.98.

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