Government shutdown could hit PerkinElmer's revenue

PerkinElmer ($PKI) blamed slower sales growth in parts of Asia as well as the U.S. government shutdown for forcing it to lower the top end of its earnings guidance for 2013. That downbeat note hit as the Massachusetts maker of medical instruments and equipment for clinical diagnostics and biomedical research reported otherwise healthy third-quarter gains in both revenue and net income.

The changes aren't drastic. PerkinElmer is now predicting adjusted earnings per share in a range of $2.04 to $2.07, versus $2.03 to $2.10. But it was enough to warrant additional mention after the company's traditional earnings presentation.

"We believe it is prudent to guide conservatively, given the current conditions in several of our markets and the potential for some impact from the U.S. government shutdown that may result in revenue shifting out of the quarter," PerkinElmer Chairman, President and CEO Robert Friel had explained during a postearnings conference call as reported by the Boston Business Journal.

The article noted a report from Leerink Swann analyst Dan Leonard, who said that the company could face a revenue hit due to potential delays in government approval for its mass-spectrometry instruments. The federal government shut down for two weeks earlier in October over funding and debt-ceiling disputes.

Even so, the Waltham company said its Q3 numbers reflect healthy gains. Revenue reached $524.3 million, versus $509.6 million in the 2012 third quarter. And net income nearly reached $40.2 million, up from almost $29.6 million over the same period last year. Operating margins also grew.

In his prepared remarks, Friel said he was happy with the numbers, despite outside global economic pressures.

"While I remain encouraged by the resiliency we are seeing across much of the portfolio, the global economic environment remains challenging," he said. "We believe, however, that the growth and productivity investments deployed over the past year should help us in the successful delivery of our full year commitments as we build a strong foundation for future."

PerkinElmer is adding to its employee roster in Massachusetts to accommodate expansion of a facility there focused on innovation in personalized health. But those gains come at the expense of other out-of-state offices the company has closed in a bid to streamline and reorganize.

- read the release
- here's the BBJ's take

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