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Waters Posts 31 Percent Increase in Q1 Revenues

NEW YORK — Waters reported on Wednesday a 31 percent jump in first quarter revenues over last year based on results from all major end markets.

For the three-month period ended April 3, Waters' revenues rose to $608.5 million from $464.9 million in the year-ago period, topping the consensus Wall Street estimate of $525.3 million. Foreign currency translation effects increased Q1 revenues by 4 percent.

"Thanks to solid execution and instrument sales growing in double-digits, we saw revenue increases across every region, with China's sales more than doubling," Udit Batra, Waters' president and CEO, said in a statement. "Our transformation plan is well underway, with commercial momentum and a strong leadership team in place, [and] we now turn towards developing a new strategy as we work to more closely align our portfolio with higher growth areas of the market."

In April, Waters announced the appointment of several new executives including Amol Chaubal as CFO and Jonathan Pratt as SVP of a new division comprising global products and markets, as well as the retirement of certain other executives. At the time, the Milford, Massachusetts-based company also established an innovation board composed of R&D, business development, and marketing leaders who will identify new unmet needs in commercial markets, assess new technologies, and monitor ongoing programs.

Contributing to Q1 revenue growth was a 28 percent increase in sales to the pharmaceutical market, a 24 percent rise in sales to the industrial market, and a 29 percent climb in sales to the academic and government markets, all based on constant currency. Recurring revenues, which represent the combination of service and precision chemistries revenues, increased 15 percent while instrument sales rose 45 percent in constant currency.

Sales in constant currency were particularly strong in Asia, growing 41 percent, while they increased 14 percent in the Americas and 25 percent in Europe.

R&D spending in the first quarter grew about 9 percent year over year to $38.1 million from $35.0 million, while selling and administrative costs declined 3 percent to $143.2 million from $147.7 million a year earlier.

Waters posted a net profit of $148.1 million, or $2.37 per share, for the first quarter compared with $53.6 million, or $.86 per share, in Q1 2020. Analysts had, on average, expected earnings of $1.57 per share.

At the end of the first quarter, Waters had cash, cash equivalents, and investments totaling $809.8 million.

Looking ahead, Waters expects Q2 constant-currency sales growth between 14 percent and 16 percent and non-GAAP EPS of $2.15 to $2.25.

For 2021, it anticipates constant currency sales growth between 8 percent and 11 percent and non-GAAP EPS between $9.85 and $10.05.