(Add CEO interview, sales details)
By Bill Berkrot
April 24 Scientific instruments maker
PerkinElmer Inc reported a higher-than-expected
quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by increased demand for its
medical diagnostics products and continued double-digit growth
"We're off to a solid start. I think we're going to see
accelerating growth this year and that will translate into a
strong bottom line," PerkinElmer Chief Executive Robert Friel
said in a telephone interview.
The company, which also sells environmental testing
products, posted a first-quarter net profit of $34.2 million, or
30 cents a share, compared with a profit of $32.2 million, or 28
cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, PerkinElmer said it had adjusted
earnings of 46 cents per share, topping analysts' average
expectations by 2 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company tweaked its full-year earnings forecast and now
expects adjusted 2014 earnings of $2.42 to $2.46 per share, up
from its previous view of $2.40 to $2.45. Analysts on average
are looking for $2.45 per share.
"Where we saw the most significant improvement in the first
quarter was in our diagnostic end markets," Friel said, noting
particularly strong demand for the company's prenatal and
neonatal testing products.
"Birth rates in China are accelerating and actually birth
rates in the U.S. are up a little bit after a couple of years of
pretty flat birth rates," he said.
He said the pharmaceutical research business had stabilized
after a year of uncertainty, when automatic U.S. budget cuts
known as sequestration, took a toll on academic research in
And while the overall economy in China has been slowing,
Friel said that PerkinElmer has not been feeling the pinch as
much as other companies, with growth in the low double digits in
the first quarter and reason to be optimistic going forward.
"They're going to increase cracking down on environmental
contaminants. There's going to be a lot more monitoring," Friel
said. "That all leads to continued good growth."
Revenue for the quarter rose 5 percent to $531.9 million,
edging past Wall Street estimates of $531.3 million.
Sales from the Human Health division rose to $299.5 million
from $281.3 million in the year-before quarter. Environmental
Health sales rose to $232.4 million from $224 million.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot, editing by G Crosse and Peter