July 28, 2009 / 6:20 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Waters Corp Q2 slips below market view, shares fall

* Q2 adj EPS $0.78 vs est $0.79 * Q2 sales $362.8 mln vs est $363.0 mln

* Raises ‘09 EPS view to $3.28-$3.38 from $2.95-$3.30

* Shares down as much as 7 pct (Recasts, adds analyst comments, updates share movement)

By Anuradha Ramanathan and Vidya L Nathan

BANGALORE, July 28 (Reuters) - Waters Corp (WAT.N) posted a second-quarter profit that missed market estimates by a cent, on weak sales to industrial customers involved in the manufacture of consumer goods, sending its shares down 7 percent.

“The buy side was looking for a beat. So it was a little disappointing in that regard... That is why the stock is down today,” Leerink Swann analyst Isaac Ro said.

Shares of the company fell $2.44 to $50 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a low of $48.64 earlier.

However, the life sciences tools maker raised its 2009 profit forecast on strong demand for its research-oriented instruments. [ID:nWNBB4011] Waters is expected to benefit from the Obama Administration’s stimulus plan, which includes $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), of which $8 billion is earmarked for funding medical studies and the rest to upgrade research facilities.

Waters estimates that it will begin to see the benefit of the federal stimulus plan on healthcare spending by the fourth quarter, a company executive said on a conference call with analysts.

Waters’ ability to control costs could also help meet its forecast, Macquarie Capital analyst Jonathan Groberg said, but added that the outlook is “not very aggressive”.

Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Muken voiced concerns over near-term growth, but said the company still retains a strong market position.

Muken reiterated his “hold” rating on the stock and a price target of $57. For the second quarter, the maker of drug research and industrial testing equipment, posted a net income of $69.9 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with $83.1 million, or 82 cents a share, in the year-ago period. [ID:nWNBB3794]

Earnings before special items stood at 78 cents a share, while revenue for the quarter fell 9 percent to $362.8 million.

Analysts, on an average, were expecting a profit of 79 cents a share, excluding special items, on revenue of $363.0 million, according to Reuters Estimates. (Editing by Anthony Kurian and Deepak Kannan)

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