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Waters' Q1 Revenues Jump 16 Percent on Strong Mass Spec and LC Sales

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Waters this week reported that its first-quarter revenues jumped 16 percent year over year, to $427.6 million from $367.7 million in the first quarter of 2010.

The rise was driven "by the continued rapid uptake" of the company's Acuity H-Class UPLC and Xevo mass spectrometry systems, President and CEO Douglas Berthiaume said in a conference call following the earnings release, adding that LC and mass spec instrument sales both grew at rates of over 20 percent.

He also noted that the company's instrument sales in India, which have traditionally focused on QC testing in support of generic drug manufacturing, "were augmented by a nice pick-up in demand for mass spectrometry-based systems for a variety of research and testing applications."

The company also hinted at new releases to come at the American Society for Mass Spectrometry's annual meeting in Denver this June. Berthiaume said that "significant product launches are planned" for the conference and executive vice president Arthur Caputo added that Waters plans to introduce "major improvements" in its mass spec and LC platforms.

For the first quarter, the firm's profit climbed 25 percent to $94.5 million, or $1.01 per share, from $75.5 million, or $.79 per share a year ago. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $1.04, beating analysts' estimates of $.95 per share. A year ago, non-GAAP EPS was $.81.

R&D spending rose 11 percent to $22.3 million during the quarter from $20.1 million a year ago, and SG&A spending rose to $117.1 million, up 10 percent from $106.7 million during the first quarter of 2010. Both increases were the result of constrained discretionary spending in the year-ago period as the company exited the recession, said chief financial officer John Ornell.

As of April 2, Waters had $1.04 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

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