(Corrects 7th paragraph to show forecast midpoint higher not
lower than Street estimates)
* 4th quarter EPS $1.11, excluding items, matches Street
* Revenue up 3 percent to $999 million
* Sees 2013 EPS $4.30 to $4.45, excluding items
* Says strategic review ongoing, no decisions made
* Shares flat
By Bill Berkrot
Feb 4 Life Technologies Inc, which is
undergoing a strategic review that could lead to the company's
sale, said on Monday its board had made no decisions and it was
open to all options.
Life Tech, which noted that the process began last summer
when company shares were trading in the $40 range, said the
board review was ongoing.
"All ideas are on the table, including pursuing our current
strategy or something different," Chief Executive Gregory Lucier
said on a conference call with analysts and investors.
Life Technologies shares are up nearly 30 percent this year
fueled by speculation a buyer for the company might emerge. They
closed at $63.02 on Nasdaq and were flat in extended trading.
Reuters reported last week that Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc
and private equity groups were considering a bid for
Life Tech, citing people familiar with the process.
Life Tech reported a higher fourth-quarter profit that
matched Wall Street expectations on increased demand for its Ion
Torrent genetic sequencing equipment and growth in emerging
The company also issued a 2013 earnings forecast range with
a midpoint a touch higher than Wall Street expectations.
For 2013, the company forecast earnings of $4.30 to $4.45 per
share, excluding items, and revenue growth of 3 percent to 5
percent over 2012 sales of $3.8 billion. Wall Street on average
is estimating earnings of $4.35 per share and revenue of $3.9
The company said its forecast does not presume the automatic
U.S. budget cuts, known as sequestration, that would kick in if
Congress is unable to agree on a budget before next month - a
move that would constrain spending by Life Tech's government and
But it said the risk of sequestration was real and it would
adjust its 2013 forecast if necessary. If sequestration is
implemented, it would reduce revenue by about 1 percent and the
company would expect to be at the low end of the guidance range
for 2013, Life Tech said.
"For 2013, we expect another significant increase in our Ion
Torrent business sales for the third consecutive year and
expansion in our applied and emerging markets to drive revenue
growth," Lucier said in a statement.
The company expected the fourth quarter to be its strongest
"We expect the strength we saw across all regions and end
markets as we exited 2012, including continued double digit
growth in emerging markets, to provide momentum in 2013," Lucier
said, adding that Ion Torrent was coming off its best sales
The company said business in China was growing and that
sales from Asia/Pacific were up 18 percent in the fourth
Life posted a net profit of $109.9 million, or 63 cents per
share, compared with a profit of $93.1 million, or 51 cents per
share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.11 per share, matching
analysts' average expectations, according to Thomson Reuters
Revenue rose 3 percent to $999 million, edging past Wall
Street estimates of $989.5 million.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Andre