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Beckman Coulter Announces First Quarter 2008 Results
Date:4/30/2008

weak prior year quarter.

On a geographic basis, first quarter revenue in the United States increased 10.7%. In constant currency, international revenue grew 19.1%, driven by an increase of more than 50% in China and other emerging markets, versus first quarter 2007.

Exceptionally strong instrument placements resulted in a product mix that decreased gross profit margin by 260 basis points to 45.9%. Greater service expense, associated with the significant increase in instrument shipments, also reduced the overall gross profit margin.

Total operating expense, including operating costs from the flow cytometry acquisition, was $267 million, or 36.6% of sales, down from 39.1% of sales in the prior year quarter. In total, the acquisition trimmed earnings per share by approximately $0.04 in the quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $68.3 million, up 19.2% over first quarter 2007. Adjusted operating income grew 9.0% to $70.0 million, and adjusted operating income margin decreased from 10.5% to 9.6%, due entirely to the gross profit margin decrease in the quarter. (See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures.")

The effective tax rate in the quarter was 24.3%, as compared to 21.6% in prior year quarter. The increase in tax rate is due to higher favorable discrete items in the first quarter of 2007 mainly for adjustments of prior years' taxes, as compared to the first quarter 2008 discrete items. Net earnings grew 15.6% to $42.9 million or $0.67 per fully diluted share. Adjusting for special items, fully diluted earnings per share were $0.68. (See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures.")

Garrett stated, "Heavy instrument placements in the quarter give us increased confidence in our company's growth potential going forward. We made considerable gains in market share, extending our installed base in Clinical Diagnostics and Life Sciences. Positive placement trends for our high-volume Immunoassay and workcell products were particularly encouraging. In
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SOURCE Beckman Coulter, Inc.
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