* Q1 adjusted EPS 34 cents vs Street view 31 cents
* Revenue up 13.7 pct to $447.8 million
* Sees 2011 adjusted EPS $1.62 to $1.67 (Adds CEO interview, sales details, Geospiza purchase)
By Bill Berkrot
NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters) - PerkinElmer Inc (PKI.N) reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday as sales of environmental health products jumped 20 percent, and the company raised its 2011 earnings forecast.
“We’re continuing to see benefits from increasingly stringent environmental regulations,” Chief Executive Robert Friel said in a telephone interview, adding that business has also been particularly strong in emerging territories.
PerkinElmer also announced the acquisition of Geospiza Inc, a small company that specializes in DNA analysis software.
The maker of scientific instruments, medical testing equipment and environmental safety monitoring products posted a net profit from continuing operations of $25.9 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with a profit of $19.6 million, or 17 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding items, PerkinElmer earned 34 cents per share, topping analysts’ average expectations by 3 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the full year, PerkinElmer now expects adjusted earnings of $1.62 to $1.67 per share, up from its prior view of $1.56 to $1.64 per share, excluding items. Analysts on average are looking for $1.61 per share.
The company still expects 2011 revenue for the year to rise in the mid-single digit range.
“We had a good April,” Friel said of the start of the current quarter. But he said the organic growth rate is not likely to be as strong as in the first quarter due to stronger comparative quarters from 2010.
“We feel good about the prospect of doing at least mid-single (digit) organic growth for the remainder of the year,” Friel said.
Revenue for the first quarter rose nearly 14 percent to $447.8 million, topping Wall Street estimates of $424.7 million.
”Environmental Health sales rose 20 percent to $245.9 million, while sales in the Human Health division rose 7 percent to $202 million.
Friel said business from pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers who have been cutting back on research spending over the past year was improving somewhat.
“It’s clearly not returning to robust growth, but there has been some stabilization in pharma capex spending,” Friel said. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Richard Chang)