Waters Corporation Earnings: Profitable Quarter Accelerates Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Waters is an analytical instrument manufacturer that designs, manufactures, sells and services liquid chromatography, ultra performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry instrument systems, and support products.

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Waters Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the scientific and technical instruments company rose to $137.1 million ($1.51 per share) vs. $126.6 million ($1.36 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 8.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 7.8% to $521.4 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: WAT reported adjusted net income of $1.56 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.50 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $517.5 million.

Quoting Management: Douglas Berthiaume, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Our positive business momentum continued nicely in the fourth quarter with relatively balanced strength highlighting the results. The fourth quarter completed a very successful 2011 for Waters with double-digit revenue growth, faster earnings growth and very impressive cash generation.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 6.9% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 17.8%.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 13.3% to $454.5 million in the third quarter. The figure rose 14.5% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 16.3% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now beaten estimates the last two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped expectations with net income of $1.14 versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.13 per share.

The company’s cost of sales rose 7.9% from a year earlier. Last quarter, cost of sales was 39.2% of revenue, similar to a year earlier.

Looking Forward: The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year remains unchanged at $1.14 a share. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $4.75 per share, down from $4.79 ninety days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ:BRKR), Dionex Corporation (NASDAQ:DNEX),  Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE:BEC), PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE:PKI), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BIO), Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBIO), Cepheid (NASDAQ:CPHD), and Mettler-Toledo Intl. Inc. (NYSE:MTD).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com