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Waters (WAT) 4Q Earnings Jump 28.3 Pct, Beat Estimates

 January 22, 2013 08:20 AM

(By Balaseshan) Waters Corp. (NYSE: WAT), an analytical instrument manufacturer, reported a 28.3% jump in quarterly earnings on a tax benefit despite a marginal increase in revenue. Despite revenue missing consensus, adjusted earnings exceeded Street's expectations.

Earnings for the fourth quarter were $175.94 million or $2.00 per share, higher than last year's $137.15 million or $1.51 per share. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose to $1.59 from $1.56.

Net sales marginally increased 0.1% to $521.77 million. In the quarter, constant currency sales growth was approximately 1.5%.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $1.58 per share on revenue of $522.23 million for the fourth quarter.

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"Demand trends in the fourth quarter were generally consistent with those observed throughout 2012. Our recurring revenues and business in Asia contributed to overall constant currency growth during a challenging period for the company," said Douglas Berthiaume, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

For the full year 2012, the company posted net income of $461.44 million or $5.19 per share, up from $432.97 million or $4.69 per share last year. Adjusted EPS rose 2% to $4.93, in line with consensus.

Sales for the year decreased 0.4% to $1.84 billion, in line with Street's expectations. Foreign currency translation reduced sales growth by about 2%.

"For the full year, the combination of a stable pricing environment and prudent cost control allowed us to maintain our operating income level and grow our EPS principally by reducing our share count through share repurchases," said Berthiaume.

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WAT closed Friday's regular session up 1.46% at $91.89. The stock has been trading between $74.12 and $94.47 for the past 52 weeks.

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