Thermo Fisher Scientific showed some strain during the first lap of 2009 under the weight of the worldwide economic crunch.
The Waltham-based laboratory instruments maker revised its outlook for the coming year after posting a 12 percent revenue slide and a 34.5 percent decline in net income for the first quarter, largely on slower sales in its core instrumentation business during the period ended March 31.
Company officials said they expect annual sales to be in the range of $9.6 billion to $9.9 billion, off by about $400 million or as much as 9 percent from last year. That would mean an earnings-per-share decline of as much as 11 percent.
Overall sales slid to $2.25 billion for the quarter, compared to $2.5 billion for the same period last year.
The slump was driven by softness in Thermo Fisher’s analytic technologies business, where sales slid 14 percent to $939 million, compared to $1.1 billion during the first quarter of 2008.
The division, which makes a wide range of instruments, software, services, bioscience reagents and diagnostic assays for the life science industry, also saw margins dip below 20 percent.
Overall, the soft sales dragged the company’s bottom line down by about $100 million. Thermo Fisher posted net income of $190 million, compare to $290 million for the same period last year.
It wasn’t all bad news for the company, as it still managed to boost its coffers. Thermo Fisher increased free cash on hand to $311 million, up significantly from $190 million at the same time last year. The increase helped boost the company’s current assets to a healthy $1.6 billion.
Back in October, CEO Marijn Dekkers said in a conference call that “we are living in interesting times. The world as we know it has changed.”
That’s evidently true, when even a thoroughbred like Thermo Fisher posts a bad quarter.