Thermo Fisher profit tops Street view as Life deal awaits

April 24 Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:22am EDT

April 24 (Reuters) - Laboratory equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, which this month agreed to acquire Life Technologies Inc, on Wednesday reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by a 10 percent rise in specialty diagnostics sales.

Excluding one-time items, Thermo Fisher posted earnings of $1.37 per share. Analysts on average expected $1.29 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The world's largest maker of laboratory equipment and scientific instruments reported a net profit from continuing operations of $340.8 million, or 94 cents per share, compared with a profit of $280.8 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company raised the low end of its full-year revenue view and lowered its 2013 earnings per share forecast to reflect its decision to suspend share buybacks as it prepares to pay for Life Tech.

Thermo Fisher now expects adjusted earnings of $5.27 to $5.39 per share, down from its prior view of $5.32 to $5.46 per share. It expects 2013 revenue of $12.84 billion to $13 billion. The low end of the previously announced range was $12.80 billion.

Analysts were looking for earnings of $5.40 per share and revenue of $12.96 billion.

Revenue for the quarter rose 4 percent to $3.19 billion, roughly in line with Wall Street estimates of $3.17 billion.

The $13.6 billion Life Tech acquisition, which will give Thermo Fisher a major presence in advanced genetic testing, is expected to close in early 2014.

Sales from the Analytical Technologies unit fell to $978 million from $980 million a year ago, possibly reflecting the impact of automatic U.S. budget cuts known as sequestration, which hurts academic and government research customers.

Specialty Diagnostics saw sales rise 10 percent to $806 million, while sales from the Laboratory Products and Services unit rose 5 percent to $1.54 billion.

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