"Our third quarter performance came in stronger than our expectations driven by a significant increase in Ion Torrent platform sales, as well as increased sales in our research consumables and forensics businesses," said Gregory T. Lucier, chairman and chief executive officer of Life Technologies. "During the quarter, we made solid progress in expanding our operations and footprint in high growth and emerging markets, including entering into strategic partnerships for companion diagnostics, building the foundation for our Medical Sciences business and acquiring distributors in China and Chile . We achieved important milestones with several highly anticipated launches including the Ion Proton™ System, a platform whose speed, ease of use and affordability will democratize genome sequencing, and our Pervenio™ Lung RS test service, the first of its kind molecular test to identify early-stage lung cancer patients who are at high risk of reoccurrence following surgery."
"We continue to demonstrate our commitment to returning capital to shareholders by repurchasing an additional $208 million worth of shares in the third quarter, bringing our year-to-date total to $535 million. Based on our performance year-to-date and end market assumptions, we are tightening the full year guidance range by increasing the bottom end by $0.05 and are now expecting non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.95 to $4.00."
Life Technologies reported current quarter results compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2011. Results are non-GAAP unless indicated otherwise. A full reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures to GAAP can be found in the tables of today's press release.
Analysis of Third Quarter 2012 Results
• Third quarter revenue decreased 1.9 percent over the prior year. Revenue growth without the impact from currency was 1.4 percent.
• Gross margin in the third quarter was 65.6 percent, approximately 50 basis points lower than the same period of the prior year primarily driven by unfavorable currency rates.
• Operating margin was 28.0 percent in the third quarter, approximately 140 basis points lower than the same period of the prior year. Operating margin contraction was primarily due to unfavorable currency rates and increased investments in Greater China and Medical Sciences.
• Third quarter tax rate was 27.3 percent.
• Third quarter EPS was $0.92.
• Diluted weighted shares outstanding were 177.3 million in the third quarter, a decrease of 9.6 million shares over the prior year. The decrease was a result of the continuation of the company's share repurchase program, partially offset by shares issued for employee stock plans. The company repurchased $208 million or 4.4 million shares in the third quarter.
• Cash flow from operating activities for the third quarter was $197 million. Third quarter capital expenditures were $20 million, resulting in free cash flow of $177 million. The company ended the quarter with $299 million in cash and short-term investments.
Business Group Highlights
• Research Consumables revenue was $384 million, a decrease of 3 percent compared to the prior year. Excluding the impact from currency, revenue for the business group grew 1 percent, primarily as a result of growth in our cell culture products, sample prep products and benchtop instruments.
• Genetic Analysis revenue was $353 million in the third quarter, a decrease of 1 percent over the same period last year. Excluding the impact from currency, revenue increased 2 percent primarily as a result of increased sales of the Ion Torrent platform, including the Ion Proton™ System and the Ion PGM™ benchtop instruments, offset by an expected decline in SOLiD® instrument sales and lower sales of CE instruments, primarily due to one-time orders in the prior year quarter and the timing of sales.
• Applied Sciences revenue was $174 million in the third quarter, flat compared to the same period last year. Excluding the impact from currency, revenue increased 3 percent, primarily due to forensics and higher sales of qPCR applied sciences instruments, offset by lower sales of CE instruments due to one-time orders in the prior year quarter, and an expected decline in BioProduction sales, which tend to fluctuate quarter to quarter.
• Regional revenue growth rates excluding currency for the quarter compared to the same quarter of the prior year were as follows: the Americas declined 1 percent, Europe grew 2 percent, Asia Pacific grew 10 percent and Japan grew 4 percent.
Fiscal Year 2012 Outlook
Subject to the risk factors detailed in the Safe Harbor Statement section of this release, the company is updating its guidance. The company's updated 2012 guidance is for organic revenue growth of approximately 2 percent over 2011 revenues of $3.7 billion. Additionally, the company is tightening the previously provided range by increasing the bottom by $0.05 and is now expecting non-GAAP earnings per share of $3.95 to $4.00. The company will provide further detail on its business outlook during the webcast today.
The Ion Proton™ System is for Research Use Only and not intended for use in diagnostic procedures.
The company will discuss its financial and business results as well as its business outlook on its webcast at 4:30 PM ET today. This webcast will contain forward-looking information. The webcast will include a discussion of "non-GAAP financial measures" as that term is defined in Regulation G. For actual results, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and information reconciling these non-GAAP financial measures to the company's financial results determined in accordance with GAAP, as well as other material financial and statistical information to be discussed on the webcast will be posted at the company's investor relations website at https://ir.lifetechnologies.com. The webcast can be accessed through the investor relations page of the company's website at https://ir.lifetechnologies.com/events.cfm. A replay of the webcast will be available on the company's website through Thursday, November 22, 2012.