July 24, 2012
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of life sciences instrumentation company Bruker (Nasdaq: BRKR ) are getting whacked, down as much as 26% earlier in the trading session, after the company reported preliminary second-quarter results.
So what: Stop me if you've heard this one: Blame Europe! Due to weakness in European demand -- specifically from European governments that set educational budgets, Bruker's primary customer -- and a weaker euro currency, Bruker now expects to report an adjusted profit in the second quarter of $0.11 to $0.13 on sales of $420 million. Wall Street had been expecting the life sciences tool maker to report a profit of $0.21 on sales of $434 million.
Now what: Today's earnings miss really shouldn't come as a surprise given the weakness in Europe, but definitely the magnitude is higher than anyone had expected. Bruker's rival Waters (NYSE: WAT ) actually surpassed its earnings estimates this morning, as tighter cost controls and share buybacks helped allay investors' fears. As for Bruker, it's going to need to tighten its belt moving forward because it's very unlikely that European spending is going to tick higher anytime in the immediate future.
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