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Waters Q3 Revenues Up 2 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Waters today reported that its revenues in the third quarter were up 2 percent year over year, driven by broad-based demand in the life science markets.

The company posted revenues of $500.6 million, up from $493.2 million in Q3 2014, and beating the average Wall Street estimate of $493.2 million. Foreign currency effects reduced sales growth by roughly 7 percent, Waters said.

On a conference call following release of the results, Waters President and CEO Christopher O'Connell said sales growth in the quarter was driven significantly by a strong demand in pharma markets, which rose 10 percent. The company saw particularly strong growth from "smaller, specialty, and generic customers as well as from clinical labs," O'Connell said.

Academic and government revenues, meanwhile, were flat overall, but strong in the US and Europe, where in both cases they grew at double-digit rates. Pharma sales in the US were up in the double-digits and up in the single-digits inEurope.

Waters also saw strong growth in India, where revenues were up double-digits driven largely by demand from generic drug companies for LC equipment, consumables, and services.

Instrument sales were up 10 percent in the quarter with demand strongest for "benchtop LC and LC-MS instruments used in broad-based life sciences applications," O'Connell said, adding that the strong growth reflects Waters' goal of expanding the adoption of mass spec to the larger liquid chromatography market.

However, he noted, "growth for high-resolution mass spectrometry in the quarter was challenged by tough comparisons to prior year."

The Milford, Massachusetts-based company posted a profit of $116.3 million, or $1.40 per share, for the quarter compared to a profit of $113.5 million, or $1.34 per share, for Q3 2014. On a non-GAAP basis, Waters had EPS of $1.42, above the average analyst estimate of $1.40.

The firm's R&D spending was up 12 percent year over year to $30.7 million from $27.3 million a year ago, while SG&A costs rose 2 percent to $124.7 million from $122.2 million.

The company ended the quarter with $2.31 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and investments.

For Q4 2015 the company expects sales growth of around 4 to 5 percent and non-GAAP EPS in the range of $1.89 to $1.99.

For full-year 2015 the company said it expects sales growth of around 8 to 9 percent and non-GAAP EPS to be in the range of $5.83 to $5.93.

In Tuesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Waters were up 2 percent at $126.48.