Life Technologies Results Overshadowed by Buyout Rumors

Published: Feb 06, 2013

Life Technologies yesterday reported solid fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 earnings results—but shared little about its ongoing strategic review with investors other than it was still ongoing and that the board of directors has made no decisions. “All ideas are on the table, including pursuing our current strategy, which has yielded solid results, or something different," Life Tech chairman and CEO Gregory T. Lucier said. “Any decision will be based on what the board believes is in the best interest of shareowners to further create value.” Last month, Life Tech acknowledged it hired consultants to conduct the review following a Reuters news report, citing unnamed sources, that Thermo Fisher Scientific and private equity groups were considering a bid for Life Tech. Investor speculation about the review—whose options include a sale of the company—has boosted the value of Life Tech’s shares 30% year-to-year, to $63.02 at the close of trading yesterday on NASDAQ. Lucier noted that the review began last summer when the company’s shares traded in the $40 range. Lucier briefly discussed the review yesterday during a conference call with analysts and investors to discuss the quarterly and annual results. Life Tech finished Q4 with net income attributable to controlling interest of $110 million or 63 cents per share, up 18% from $93.1 million or 51 cents per share in the final three months of 2011. Life Tech’s Q4 revenue of $998.90 million was 1.1% down from $1.01 billion a year earlier, but above the $989.5 million consensus estimate of analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Non-GAAP Q4 net income inched up 1.4% to $195.9 million or $1.11 per share from $193.1 million or $1.05 per share. Revenue rose 3% (4.5% at constant exchange rates) to $999 million from $970 million.

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