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Bruker Q3 Revenues Up 35 Percent; CEO Predicts Funding Shift Toward Proteomics


By Adam Bonislawski

Bruker this week reported $418.4 million in third-quarter revenues, a 35 percent increase from $310.3 million a year ago.

This beat Wall Street revenue expectations of $393.2 million, but the company fell short of analyst earnings-per-share estimates by a penny.

Revenues for the Bruker Scientific Instruments segment rose 36 percent year over year to $394.6 million from $290.5 million. Organically, revenues in the segment grew 11 percent year over year, though EPS slipped to $.15 from $.18 a year ago. On an adjusted basis, BSI EPS grew to $.23 from $.22.

Like its fellow mass spec vendors Waters and Thermo Fisher Scientific, both of which also reported Q3 earnings this week, Bruker saw "weakness in US academic spending," president and CEO Frank Laukien said on a conference call following the release of the results.

The company, Laukien said, now assumes that academic spending will be "the slower growing part of [its] business for the next 15 months or so." He pointed to potential positive signs in Europe, though, noting that the EU Commission is expected to increase its scientific research budget by 13 percent, or €1.2 billion ($1.7 billion), in 2012, while Germany is anticipated to increase its scientific research budget 10 percent, or €1.6 billion. He added that "research and infrastructure budgets in many newer European Union member states in Central Europe as well as in Russia and Turkey have grown dramatically."

Laukien also suggested that the company would benefit from "secular trends towards epigenetics and proteomics," 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."

Bruker's net income declined to $19.8 million, or $.12 per share, from $27.4 million, or $.17 per share. EPS on an adjusted basis came in at $.22, missing analyst estimates of $.23.

Its R&D costs rose to $43.5 million, a 34 percent increase over $32.5 million a year ago.

It ended the quarter with $198.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.

Have topics you'd like to see covered in ProteoMonitor? Contact the editor at abonislawski [at] genomeweb [.] com.