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Waters Cuts Q4 Revenue Guidance 4 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Waters said yesterday that weak demand and slowed spending have caused it to revise its estimated fourth-quarter 2008 and full-year financials by as much as 4 percent.

Waters, which said it will release is fourth-quarter and full 2008 earnings report Jan. 27, also said it does expect to generate free cash flow originally slated for select acquisitions, and that it will discontinue its stock-repurchase program.

Waters now expects revenue during the fourth quarter of 2008 of between $410 million and $420 million, about 4 percent below the year-ago period during which the company had sales of $437 million.

Waters said the results were due to "anticipated sales volume resulting from weaker global economic conditions, constrained capital spending, and unfavorable foreign currency translation impacts."

Looking at 2009, the company said it expects the trends to continue, which would accelerate into the first half of 2009 the "challenging market conditions" it saw in the fourth quarter of 2008.

In an attempt to stem the receding tide, Waters said new instruments and growth in continuing revenue lines, as well as "prudent expense management" and plans to optimize the company's manufacturing strategy could buoy its operating profits.

Other companies in the life science tools sector have also revised their outlook for the fourth quarter and the year ahead, including Cepheid, which yesterday said that it expects to report a fourth-quarter revenue drop of around 6 percent and flat sales for 2009.

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