Waters Corp. swam against the stream during the first quarter, posting a 7.1 percent earnings increase despite a 10.4 percent dive in revenues.
The Milford-based lab equipment maker posted sales of $333.1 million, compared with $371.7 million during the same period last year; net income reached $73.4 million, compared with $68.5 million during the first quarter of 2008.
Waters chairman, president and CEO Douglas Berthiaume attributed the positive earnings to careful cost control and strong demand for recurring revenue product lines.
The company reduced its cost of sales from nearly 42 percent of net sales during the 2008 first quarter to 38.3 percent this quarter. Waters also boosted its gross profit rate to 61.7 percent, compared with 58.2 percent during the first quarter last year, although selling, general and administrative expenses rose to 29.8 percent of net sales, compared with 28.5 percent last year.
The company, which makes liquid chromatography equipment, also cut its R&D expenses by 7.4 percent.
In a separate announcement, Waters said the federal Drug Enforcement Agency bought one of its Acquity UltraPerformance liquid chromatographs to train new forensic chemists at the agency’s Dulles, Va., Special Testing and Research Laboratory.