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Bruker Posts 14 Percent Jump in Q4 Revenues; MALDI Biotyper Could Receive FDA Approval This Year

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This story originally ran on Feb 22.

Bruker this week reported fourth quarter 2011 revenues of $475.1 million, up 14 percent from $416.1 million a year ago and beating Wall Street estimates of $468.6 million.

The company posted a profit for the quarter of $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, beating analyst expectations of $.29 per share.

Bruker's Scientific Instruments revenues grew 14 percent in the quarter to $445.8 million from $389.4 million a year ago. Net income for Scientific Instruments was $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.

Bruker President and CEO Frank Laukien said in a statement accompanying release of the results that the company is carrying a "record backlog, and good geographic and end-market diversification" into 2012 and "is very well positioned to capitalize on strong demand tailwinds from a number of important secular trends, including accelerating shifts" to fields including "functional and imaging proteomics" and "protein and metabolite molecular diagnostics."

The statement echoes comments Laukien made during an earnings call following release of Bruker's Q3 2011 results, in which he suggested that the company would benefit from "secular trends towards epigenetics and proteomics" (PM 10/28/2011).

This comment came in response to questions regarding to company's exposure to weak US government and academic spending, with Laukien saying that more important than absolute NIH spending levels was the question of how this spending was allocated.

"I think people have realized that good old straight genomic sequencing – while it has given us a lot of data – it has not given us as many medically relevant insights as we had hoped," he said. "It turns out that epigenetics and systems biology and protein and metabolite analysis … are more important. We think a lot of the funding trends, because of the scientific trends and therapeutic trends in molecular diagnostic medicine, are coming our way."

Laukien reiterated this analysis this week on a call discussing the Q4 results, noting again that, while the company expects "general academic funding in the SU to be one of the weaker areas in 2012" the "total size of the budget is less important for us … [than] what do they allocate it to?"

"That is really the game for us and generally the game for us and … the trends have been favorable," he said.

Laukien also addressed questions about the regulatory status of Bruker's MALDI Biotyper product, saying that the company was working with US Food and Drug Administration and could potentially obtain approval for clinical use of the device in the US in the second half of this year.

For the quarter R&D costs fell 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.

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.

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

For Q1 2012, Bruker said it expects between $380 million and $390 million in revenues.

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