Earnings Boost All Four IBO Indexes Higher

In April, all major US stock indexes climbed higher despite weak economic data and mixed first-quarter earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and NASDAQ finished the month up 7.3%, 9.4% and 12.3%, respectively. The markets shrugged off higher than expected unemployment claims, increasing foreclosure rates and the report of a 6.1% annual decline in first-quarter GDP. Even the bankruptcy filing by Chrysler on April 30 was not enough to deter the optimism spurred by the Federal Reserve’s comments the day before. For the year, the Dow and S&P 500 are down 6.9% and 3.4%, respectively, while the NASDAQ has climbed 8.9%.

All four IBO Stock Indexes finished the month higher. The Lab Consumables/Equipment Stock Index gained the most ground, climbing 12.5%. The Diversified Instrumentation, Laboratory Instrumentation and Process/Metrology/Motion Instrumentation Stock Indexes gained 10.9%, 8.9% and 4.4%, respectively.

Lab Instrumentation Stock Index

For April, the Laboratory Instrumentation Index gained 8.9% to close at 428.75. Sixteen companies improved, while six traded lower. X-Rite led the Index, climbing 65%. Sequenom led all decliners for both the month and year, falling 75% and 82%, respectively. Year to date, the Index has gained 9.9%, with 15 companies trading higher and seven companies losing ground. Bruker has improved the most, up 63%.

On April 21, Illumina reported EPS of $0.20 (see page 12), $0.01 better than analysts’ consensus. Excluding one-time adjustments for stock-based compensation expenses, earnings were $0.28 a share. The company increased its full-year EPS estimate by 3% to $1.13–$1.23, while second-quarter EPS are expected to be $0.27–$0.30. Yet, investors appeared apprehensive about the exorbitant stock expenses, as shares declined 4.5% the following day. Cepheid announced on April 23 a quarterly loss of $0.12 (see page 12), which beat analysts’ consensus by $0.01, leading shares up 21.8% the following day. Becton Dickinson announced on April 28 fiscal second-quarter EPS of $1.18, $0.02 ahead of expectations, yet shares fell 4.2% due to declining revenues. On the same day, Beckman Coulter beat EPS forecasts by $0.12, reporting $0.71 a share, but lowered its 2009 forecast by 3.0% to $3.71–$3.91 a share. Shares traded marginally lower. Waters reported on April 29 EPS of $0.74 (see page 12), $0.17 better than consensus, sending shares up 16.3%. Waters’s second-quarter and full-year EPS are expected to be $0.75–$0.79 and $2.95–$3.30, respectively. On the same day, Varian reported fiscal second-quarter EPS of $0.55 (see page 12), $0.10 ahead of expectations, leading shares up 13.3%. Also on April 29, Dionex reported fiscal third-quarter EPS of $0.84 (see page 12), $0.11 better than consensus, and increased its full-year EPS by an average of 3% to $3.10–$3.14. Shares jumped 10.0% the following day. Symyx Technologies, on the same day, reported a loss of $0.08 a share, $0.04 better than consensus, leading shares up 6.4% the following day. On April 30, PerkinElmer announced first-quarter EPS of $0.26 (see page 12), $0.06 better than expectations, while Caliper Life Sciences reported a loss of $0.11 per share (see page 12), $0.02 ahead of consensus. On the same day, Bruker reported first-quarter EPS of $0.05, in line with expectations.

Not all companies were able to overcome declining sales. On April 22, Affymetrix reported a loss of $0.34 a share (see page 12), $0.14 wider than expected. Shares declined 17.4% the following day. On April 23, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced EPS of $0.62 (see page 12), $0.08 below analysts’ forecast, sending shares down 7.8%. The company also lowered its 2009 EPS guidance by roughly 6% to $2.80–$3.10. On April 29, Sequenom announced a loss of $0.29 a share (see page 12), compared to a loss of $0.19 last year. The company also reported employee mishandling of R&D data for the SEQureDx Down syndrome test, which will delay its release. The company was hit with at least nine downgrades the following day, including three “Sell” recommendations, as analysts expressed reservations over its ability to launch the test. Shares tumbled 75.6%.

On April 22, Caris & Company downgraded Illumina to “Average” from “Above Average.” Piper Jaffray initiated coverage of Luminex on April 14 with a “Neutral” rating.

Process/Metrology/Motion Instrumentation Stock Index

For the month, the Process/Metrology/Motion Instrumentation Stock Index gained 4.4% to 201.97, with five companies improving and three companies declining. For the year, the Index is down 16.5%, with half of the companies in positive territory. Nanometrics led the Index for both the month and year, up 70% and 78%, respectively. ICx Technologies declined the most for both the month and year, losing 8% and 53%, respectively.

On April 22, MTS Systems announced EPS of $0.44, compared to $0.76, leading shares down 5.9%. On April 27, Veeco Instruments reported a loss of $0.22 a share, $0.02 better than analysts’ consensus. Shares rose 2.7% the following day. On April 30, Strategic Diagnostics reported an EPS loss of $0.03, versus break even last year.

Lab Consumables/Equipment Stock Index

The Laboratory Consumables/Equipment Stock Index jumped 12.5% in April to 392.75, as all eight companies improved. Pall led the Index, gaining 29%, while Kewaunee Scientific recorded the lowest gain, rising 1%. For the year, the Index is up 7.8%, with half of the companies in positive territory. Life Technologies leads the Index for the year up 60%, while Enzo Biochem is down 16%.

On April 23, Sigma-Aldrich reported EPS of $0.68 (see page 12), $0.04 ahead of expectations, sending shares up 1.4%. On April 28, Life Technologies jumped 15.1% as it beat earnings estimates by $0.15, reporting $0.72 a share (see page 12). On the same day, Techne announced EPS of $0.74, $0.02 ahead of estimates, sending shares up 10.9%.

Diversified Instrumentation Stock Index

The Diversified Instrumentation Stock Index gained 10.9% for the month to 73.22, with all six companies improving. Teledyne Technologies and Mettler-Toledo led the Index, each climbing 20%. For the year, the Index is up 3.9%, as four companies are in positive territory and two companies are trading lower. Agilent Technologies leads the Index, up 17%, while Teledyne is down 28%.

Teledyne reported EPS of $0.57, $0.02 better than expected, on April 23, yet shares declined 5.2%. On the same day, Roper Industries reported EPS of $0.59, $0.02 better than consensus, but it lowered its second-quarter EPS guidance to $0.61–$0.65, compared to expectations of $0.68 a share. Shares declined 4.4%. On April 21, AMETEK announced EPS of $0.55 (see page 12), in line with expectations, but lowered its full-year EPS outlook by 13% to $2.10–$2.25. Second-quarter EPS are projected to $0.45–$0.50, well below estimates of $0.60 a share. Shares fell 6.6% the following day. Danaher reported on April 23 EPS of $0.72, $0.01 below expectations, and lowered its full-year forecast by 10% to $3.30–$3.70, yet shares climbed 5.5%. On April 30, Mettler-Toledo reported EPS of $0.95, $0.11 better than consensus. Robert W. Baird downgraded Roper to “Neutral” from “Outperform” on April 20.


In April, two Pacific Region firms traded higher and three declined. Horiba improved the most, gaining 3%, while Techcomp fell 17%. Year to date results were similar, only with Horiba up 45% and Techcomp down 15%. Hitachi High-Technologies reported on April 23 full-year EPS ended March 31 of ¥51.44 ($0.51) (see page 12), compared to ¥195.80 ($1.71) a year ago.

This month, 12 European firms improved, two declined and Cybio traded flat. Ten firms recorded double-digit gains, led by Renishaw, which jumped 56%, while Sartorius fell 18%. For the year, 11 European companies are up and four are down. Millbrook Scientific Instruments leads the way, rising 60%, while Exiqon has fallen 25%.

On April 23, Sartorius reported EPS of €0.11 ($0.14), compared to €0.25 ($0.37) one year ago. Despite plans to reduce the Mechatronics Division’s operating expenses by €25 million ($32 million), shares fell 12.2%. On April 27, Biotage reported a loss of SEK 0.24 ($0.03) a share, compared to a loss of SEK 0.15 ($0.02) a year ago. Shares gained 2.0%.


Lab Instrument Stock Index S&P 500

Feb-07 537.67 337.29

Mar-07 553.46 340.66

Apr-07 568.74 355.41

May-07 576.11 366.98

Jun-07 573.08 360.44

Jul-07 584.65 348.91

Aug-07 604.22 353.40

Sep-07 648.03 366.05

Oct-07 678.52 371.47

Nov-07 654.48 355.11

Dec-07 656.46 352.05

Jan-08 583.13 330.52

Feb-08 607.77 319.03

Mar-08 600.29 317.13

Apr-08 600.29 332.20

May-08 622.99 335.75

Jun-08 602.24 306.89

Jul-08 639.07 303.86

Aug-08 643.46 307.57

Sep-08 590.45 279.64

Oct-08 456.82 232.26

Nov-08 416.63 214.88

Dec-08 390.29 216.56

Jan-09 397.41 198.01

Feb-09 376.99 176.24

Mar-09 393.81 191.29

Apr-09 428.75 209.26

< | >