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Bruker Posts 2 Percent Q3 Revenue Decline, Will Lay Off 150 in Anticipation of Weak Q4

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bruker reported today that its revenues in the third quarter were down 2 percent year over year, falling to $439 million from $447.8 million in Q3 2012.

The drop was driven by weakness in the company's Energy and Semiconducting Technologies (BEST) segment, which saw revenue decline by 27 percent in the quarter. Bruker's Scientific Instruments segment, which includes its mass spectrometry and life sciences business, grew a fraction of 1 percent year over year.

The results fell short of the average Wall Street estimate of $452.4 million.

On a conference call following the release of the results, Bruker President and CEO Frank Laukien said that the BEST segment's decline was largely due to a difficult year-over-year comparison due to a large licensing deal with the Russian state atomic energy corporation ROSATOM that closed in Q3 2012.

Bruker's Life Science and Clinical Division had "modest growth" in Q3, Laukien said, noting that the key driver of this growth was the company's MALDI Biotyper product, which posted double-digit growth in the quarter.

Anticipating continued weakness, particularly in industrial markets, Laukien predicted a slow fourth quarter. As a result, he said, the company has begun reducing headcount in its Materials (BMAT) group by 150 employees. This reduction, he estimated, will save between $5 million and $10 million in 2014.

This cost-cutting move comes in addition to previously announced 2013 restructuring activities, which include outsourcing of various non-core manufacturing activities, divesting the BioSpin group's Power Electronics product line, and closing a manufacturing facility.

In total, the company expects its cost-cutting actions to save between $15 million and $20 million in 2014, Laukien said.

The Billerica, Mass.-based company reported a profit of $16.6 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to $39.7 million, or $0.24 per share, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, Bruker had EPS of $0.20, short of the consensus Wall Street estimate of $0.22.

The company's R&D costs were $45.5 million for the quarter, up 1 percent from $44.9 million in Q2 2012. Its SG&A spending was $105.7 million, up 3 percent from $102.4 million in the year-ago third quarter.

Bruker ended the quarter with $306.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company lowered its full year 2013 guidance in anticipation of a weak Q4 performance. It now expects 2013 revenues to be either flat or decrease by 1 percent compared to 2012 and expects full year 2013 non-GAAP EPS to be in the range of $0.72 to $0.76, compared to previous expectations of $0.80 to $0.83.

In Friday morning trade on the Nasdaq, Bruker's stock was down 7 percent at $19 per share.

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