http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/49107803-biorad-laboratories-inc-bio-q4-2012.aspx

Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc BIO
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/26/2013

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Quarter Four and Full Year 2012 Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. Earnings Conference Call. My name is Ian, I'll be your operator for today. As a reminder, the call is being recorded for replay purposes.

I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Ron Hutton, he's the Treasurer. Please proceed, Sir.

Ronald Hutton - VP and Treasurer: Thank you, Ian. Before we begin the call, I would like to caution everyone that we will be making forward-looking statements about management's goals, plans and expectations. Because our actual results may differ materially from these plans and expectations, I encourage you to review our filings with the SEC, where we discuss in detail the risk factors in our business. The Company does not intend to update any forward-looking statements made during the call today.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Christine Tsingos, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Christine Tsingos - EVP and CFO: Thanks, Ron. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us. Today, we will review the fourth quarter and full year financial results for 2012, as well as provide some insight into our thinking for 2013.

Let's start with a review of the quarterly results. We are pleased to report that net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 were a record $573.8 million, an increase of 4.3% versus the year-ago period sales of $550.2 million.

On a currency-neutral basis, quarterly sales grew an impressive 6.1%. During the quarter, we experienced good currency-neutral sales growth in our diabetes monitoring, quality controls and BioPlex 2200 product lines, as well as many of our Life Science product line, most notably process chromatography, amplification consumables and sales of our QX100 Digital PCR system. The overall quarterly growth was tempered somewhat by continued sluggishness in Europe.

The consolidated gross margin for the quarter was in line with expectations at 55.9% and compared to last year’s gross margin of 56.5%, the decline in margin versus last year is primarily reflective of product mix, increased amortization costs and continued pricing pressure.

During the quarter, we recorded a total of approximately $6.9 million in cost of goods sold for the non-cash purchasing accounting expense related to prior acquisition, which compares to $6.2 million in the year ago period.

SG&A expense for the fourth quarter was $189.1 million, or 32.9% of sales compared to $175 million or 31.8% of sales last year. The increase in spend versus last year is partially related to our ERP projects, but also reflective of the one-time reversal of our incentive bonus accruals of approximately $9 million that occurred in the fourth quarter of last year.

Amortization of intangibles related to our acquisitions recorded in SG&A in the fourth quarter was approximately $2.4 million.

Research and development expense in Q4 was 10.4% of sales, or $59.8 million. This increase in spending both sequentially and year-over-year is reflective of our investments in Digital PCR and cell biology products, as well as focus on the development of new products for diagnostic market, such as diabetes monitoring and blood typing.

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