UPDATE 1-Waters posts better-than-expected Q1 profit, shares up
* Q1 EPS beats estimates by 17 cents
* Q1 net sales down 10 pct to $333.1 mln vs est $336.5 mln
* Gross margin increases 3.5 percentage points
* Shares up as much as 20 pct
April 28 (Reuters) - Waters Corp (WAT.N: Cotización), which makes drug research tools, reported a 7 percent higher first-quarter profit that trumped analysts' estimates, helped by improved gross margin and lower expenses, sending its shares up as much as 20 percent.
The company's gross margin for the quarter improved 3.5 percentage points year-over-year to 61.7 percent. Selling and administrative expenses fell about 6 percent to $99.2 million.
The company reported first-quarter net income of $73.3 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with $68.5 million, or 67 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, it earned 74 cents a share.
Revenue, which fell 10 percent to $333.1 million for the period, included an adverse foreign currency translation impact of about 5 percent. Continuación...