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ABI, PerkinElmer, Thermo Electron, Waters, Beckman Coulter, Becton Dickinson, Cellzome, Novartis, Bristol-Myers, Labcyte


ABI's Revenues Grow 4 Percent in Q4 FY '05, Core PCR, Mass Spec Slides

Applied Biosystems this week reported increased revenues and earnings for its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2005, which ended June 30.

Revenues for the quarter totaled $478.5 million, up 4 percent over the prior year's revenues of $460.5 million. Broken down by ABI's five product categories, DNA sequencing revenues were $143 million, up 2 percent over last year's quarter; real-time PCR/applied genomics revenues were $140 million, up 16 percent; mass spectrometry revenues were $119 million, down 1 percent; core PCR and DNA synthesis revenues were $46 million, down 7 percent; and revenues from other product lines were $31 million, up 1 percent.

Research and development costs totaled $48.3 million, down from $51.3 million during the year-ago quarter. This decline was due primarily to savings from the integration of the MALDI-TOF product line into the ABI/MDS Sciex Instruments joint venture.

ABI's net income for the fourth fiscal quarter was $71.6 million, or $.35 per share, up from $51.1 million, or $.25 per share, for the year-ago quarter. The current quarter's income includes $21.2 million in tax benefits and reduced court settlement costs.

As of June 30, ABI had $756 million in cash resources.

In addition to reporting its earnings, the company said that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 10 percent of the outstanding shares of Applera-ABI common stock.

PerkinElmer's Q2 Revenues Inch Up 3 Percent as Income Surges 39 Percent

PerkinElmer this week reported slightly increased revenues and a boost in earnings for the second quarter of 2005.

Revenues for the quarter totaled $425.5 million, representing a 3-percent increase over last year's revenues of $412.1 million during the same period. PE's life and analytical sciences unit had $270.8 million in revenues, up 5 percent from revenues of $257.9 million during the same period last year. This growth was primarily driven by PE's genetic screening, service, and environmental businesses.

Research and development expenses were $22.9 million, up slightly from $21.5 million during the same quarter last year.

The company's net income for the quarter was $28.9 million, or $.22 per share, up from last year's $20.8 million, or $.16 per share, during the same period. This quarter's earnings included both a $14.3 million benefit from provisions for income taxes and a loss of $5.2 million from discontinued operations.

As of July 3, PerkinElmer had $158.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Thermo Electron's Revenue Climbs 24 Percent in Q2, Though Profit Slides 34 Percent

Thermo Electron this week reported increased revenues but reduced earnings for the second quarter of 2005.

Total revenues for the quarter were $653.6 million, up 24% over revenues during the same period last year, which were $525.3 million. Fifteen percent of this revenue growth was due to acquisitions. The company's life and laboratory sciences unit recorded $487 million in revenues, up a third over $370 million during the year-ago period.

Research and development costs were $39.4 million, up from $32.6 million during the same quarter last year.

Thermo's net income fell 44 percent to $60.2 million, or $.37 per share, from $91.1 million, or $.54 per share, during the year-ago period. Last year's second quarter included a gain of $.24 per share from discontinued operations.

As of July 2, Thermo had $159.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $11.1 million in short-term available-for-sale investments.

Waters' Q2 Organic Sales Grow 8 Percent, Though Profit Slides 10 Percent

Waters this week said that second-quarter sales increased around 8 percent organically atop increasing R&D spending and a 10-percent slide in net profits.

Still, the company's stock was up more than 9 percent, or $3.80, at $44.50 in heavy trading Tuesday afternoon because the profit beat analysts' consensus estimate.

Total sales for the period ended July 2 increased 9 percent to $284.6 million from $260.5 million year over year, Waters said. Approximately 1 percent of the growth was the result of favorable foreign-currency exchange rates.

R&D spending in the period increased around 5 percent to $16.5 million from $15.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net income, however, slid almost 10 percent to $54 million, or $.47 per basic share, from $59.8 million, or $.50 per basic share, year over year.

Waters said it had around $615 million in cash and equivalents as of July 2.

Beckman to Cut 350 Jobs in Restructuring; Reports Increased Q2 Sales, Lackluster Earnings

Beckman Coulter plans to cut 350 jobs in an effort to reorganize and cut costs, the company said last week. Beckman also reported a slight increase in sales but a drop in earnings for the second quarter of 2005.

The company plans to fold its two operating divisions — Clinical Diagnostics and Biomedical Research — into one, creating four business groups that will focus on chemistry systems, immunoassay systems, cellular systems, and discovery and automation systems, respectively, as well as two commercial organizations concentrating on domestic and international markets. In addition, Beckman said it will review "minor" product lines, facilities, and other assets that do not support its new strategy. Beckman will take a charge of up to $60 million during the second half of this year for the reorganization.

The layoffs will comprise only around 3 percent of Beckman's staff. The company employed 10,200 people as of Dec. 31, 2004.

In addition, Beckman will offer more operating-type leases instead of sales-type leases for its diagnostic systems, meaning that revenues will be recognized over a longer period. Beckman hopes this will "further improve competitiveness, sales efficiency, and product margins," according to a company statement.

Beckman's sales for the quarter totaled $618.8 million, up almost 4 percent from $597.3 million during the same period last year. In the biomedical research division, sales climbed more than 5 percent, while clinical diagnostics sales increased 3 percent.

R&D expenses climbed to $50.1 million, from $46.6 million during the same quarter in 2004.

Beckman posted earnings of $47.7 million, or $.73 per share, for the quarter, down 18 percent from the year-ago quarter, when earnings totaled $58.3 million, or $.88 per share.

As of June 30, Beckman had $46.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

BD Reports 11-Percent Q2 Revenue Increase, 75-Percent Jump in Earnings

Becton Dickinson last week reported a jump in revenues and income for the second quarter of 2005.

Revenues for the quarter were $1.38 billion, up 11 percent from $1.24 billion during the same period last year. BD Biosciences contributed $200 million to this, an 8-percent increase over the year-ago period. Research instrument and reagent growth contributed primarily to this growth, as well as discovery labware products. BD Biosciences' results do not include Clontech, which has been classified as a "discontinued operation." On July 1, BD said it will sell Clontech to Takara Bio of Japan.

Research and development costs increased to $67 million, from $58.5 million during the year-ago period.

BD's net income increased to $189.7 million, or $.73 per share, up almost 75 percent from $109.4 million, or $.41 per share, during last year's second quarter. Last year's results included a $100 million charge related to a litigation settlement with an undisclosed party in July 2004. BD said this charge reduced its prior-year net income by $63 million and EPS by $.24.

BD did not state its assets in its earnings report.

Cellzome Expands Proteomics Collaboration with Novartis

Cellzome said this week that it has expanded a proteomics-based collaboration with Novartis that the companies initially entered in September 2004.

The expansion "is in line with the terms of the original agreement between the two companies," Cellzome said.

Since September, Cellzome said it has mapped the protein networks of signaling pathways implicated in several therapeutic areas and has used this information to characterize various Novartis compounds. Under the terms of the expanded agreement, Cellzome said it will provide "more in-depth functional analyses of target candidates and signaling aspects of the disease pathways."

Novartis has made a "substantial equity investment" in Cellzome and will also contribute an undisclosed amount of research funding for two years with the option of extending the collaboration for a further two years, Cellzome said.

Terms of the agreement also include lead compound development options for both companies in exchange for licenses, milestone payments, and royalties.

Bristol-Myers Licenses Ingenuity's Pathway Software

Bristol-Myers Squibb has taken a multi-year license to Ingenuity's Pathways Analysis and Pathways Knowledge Base applications, Ingenuity said this week.

Under the agreement, Ingenuity Pathways Analysis will be available to all BMS scientists. Both Ingenuity products will be integrated with existing bioinformatics solutions at the drug company.

Ingenuity's Pathways Knowledge Base is a curated database of modeled relationships between proteins, genes, complexes, cells, tissues, drugs, and diseases. The Pathways Analysis application analyzes these relationships.

Labcyte Closes $21M Financing; Aims to Expand Presence in Genomics and Proteomics

Labcyte, a privately held liquid-handling equipment provider, said this week that it has closed a $21 million Series C round of financing.

Labcyte said that it will use the funds to "expand the commercial applications of [its] technology in genomics and proteomics."

The company said that in addition to further developing its flagship Echo 550 acoustics-based liquid-handling platform and its Echo 380 auditor technology, it will use the financing to develop an instrument for preparing tissue samples for quantitative imaging by MALDI mass spectrometry that will provide "unique information about the spatial distribution of proteins in a tissue."

Labcyte also said it plans to apply its acoustic technologies in genomics and proteomics "by developing systems for small volume expression and mutation assays."

The financing round was led by Cross Atlantic Partners and included Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, the Bay Area Equity Fund, and existing investors Abingworth Management, Alloy Ventures, Delphi Ventures, and the Sprout Group

The Scan

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Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

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Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.