Rocky US Stock Market Impacts IBO Stock Indexes

The US economy slowed down in the month of February, as US equity markets pulled back from all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) slid 4.3% to 25,029.20, while the S&P 500 fell 3.9% to 2,713.83 for the month. The NASDAQ composite decreased 1.9% to finish at 7,273.01.

The US GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The new estimate signifies a decrease from the previous estimate of 2.6%, and also trails third quarter GDP growth of 3.2%. US GDP growth in the fourth quarter 2017 was primarily driven by personal consumption expenditures, exports and government spending. However, the decrease in private inventory investments ultimately offset the gains.


Laboratory Instruments and Products Stocks

In February, IBO’s Laboratory Instruments and Products Stock Index fell 6.1% to 355.68. A majority of the Index finished the month in negative territory, with Pacific Biosciences’ shares decreasing the most, down 16.2%. On February 13, the company announced a public offering of its common stock, priced at $2.40 per share. Pacific Biosciences closed the month at $2.38, falling 9.8% year to date. Conversely, Fluidigm’s share price grew the most, up 10.4% to close at $6.77. For Fluidigm, this represents a third consecutive monthly increase.

Despite overall positive earnings results, the majority of the companies in the IBO Laboratory and Products Stock Index experienced decreased share prices. Agilent Technologies reported fiscal first quarter adjusted EPS of $0.66 on February 14, an increase of 24.5%. The company’s share price closed at $68.59 for the month, falling 6.6%. Agilent expects its fiscal second quarter adjusted EPS to be within $0.61 and $0.63, while its full-year adjusted EPS is expected to be $2.62–$2.68.

Bio-Rad Laboratories‘ shares grew 4.3% to $270.04 for the month. Kewaunee Scientific recorded mid-single digit growth of 2.6%. Bio-Rad Laboratories reported its fourth quarter 2017 results on February 27, for which adjusted EPS grew 20.0% to $1.50. Kewaunee also reported on February 27, delivering adjusted EPS of $0.71.

Bio-Techne and QIAGEN shares were flat for the month, up just 0.7% and 0.3%, finishing the month at $141.34 and $33.70, respectively. Bio-Techne reported its fiscal second quarter results on February 6, with adjusted EPS increasing 25.9% to $1.02.

Luminex reported its fourth quarter 2017 results on February 12, for which adjusted EPS, $0.17, surpassed analysts’ estimates of $0.09. The company’s share price for the month fell 2.9% to $19.61. Mettler-Toledo delivered fourth quarter 2017 adjusted EPS of $5.97 on February 8, surpassing analysts’ expectations by $0.03. Year over year, adjusted EPS rose 13.1%. For the month, Mettler-Toledo’s share price fell 8.5% to $616.22.

Diversified Laboratory Stocks

IBO’s Diversified Laboratory Stocks Index followed the same trend as the Laboratory Instruments and Products Index, as share prices were not affected by the strong earnings results. The Index decreased 4.8% to close the month at 270.59. The Index finished in the red, with only Xylem up, gaining 3.2% to $74.58. Xylem reported its fourth quarter 2017 results on February 1, delivering an adjusted EPS of $0.76, which was unchanged. Conversely, Illinois Tool Works shares fell the most in February, down 7.1% to $161.44.

On February 1, AMETEK reported its fourth quarter 2017 adjusted EPS, which was up 17.0% to $0.70. However, AMETEK’s share price closed at $75.74 for the month, down 0.8%. For the first quarter, the company expects its adjusted EPS to be around $0.70 and $0.72. As for the full year, AMETEK projects an adjusted EPS of $2.95–$3.05.

On February 2, Roper Technologies reported fourth quarter 2017 adjusted EPS of $0.70, an increase of 20.7%. However, share price fell 1.7% to $275.09 for the month. The company expects first quarter adjusted EPS to be $2.44–$2.50. As for the full year, Roper projects adjusted EPS to be between $10.88 and $11.20. Teledyne Technologies reported its fourth quarter 2017 results on February 1, delivering adjusted EPS of $1.97, an increase of 19.4%. Share price for the month closed at $185.95, down 2.7%.


International Stocks

Asia Pacific market indexes that IBO follows decreased, as most ended February in negative territory. China’s Shanghai Composite, along with Japan’s Nikkei 225 both fell the most, sliding 5.9% to 3,273.75 and 21,724.47, respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, having increased the most the previous month, also slid, decreasing 5.6% to 31,044.25. Conversely, Thailand’s SET Index grew the most, up 0.2% to 1,830.13.

Shares in the Asia Pacific in IBO’s Stock Table remained solid for the month, as JEOL and Techcomp‘s shares both delivered significant growth, rising 38.7% and 36.9%, respectively. JEOL’s share price ended at ¥886.0 ($8.40 at ¥105.5= $1) for the month, while Techcomp shares finished at HKD 2.45 ($0.31 at HKD 7.83 = $1). HORIBA shares also grew double digits, up 15.9% to ¥7,870.0 ($74.61).

In the European region, growth for the market indexes that IBO tracks all fell. Germany’s XETRA DAX dropped the most, down 7.6% to 12,190.94. Sweden’s OMX Stockholm fell the least, down 2.0% to close the month at 1,560.56.

European shares in the IBO Stock Table finished mostly in negative territory, as Horizon Discovery, along with Oxford Instruments, both fell double digits, down 20.1% and 19.8%, respectively. Conversely, Sartorius‘ shares grew significantly, up 15.2% to €102.5 ($126.37 at €0.81 = $1) for the month. On February 21, Sartorius released its forecasted results for the year, with an expected 9%–12% increase in revenues. Furthermore, the company projects its revenues to increase by approximately €4 billion ($4 billion) by 2025. Abcam also grew positively, up 2.7% to £12.2 ($16.82 at £0.73 = $1).

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