A manufacturer of instruments used in scientific research, Bruker Corp. reported first-quarter revenue of $461.4 million, up 6.9% from the year-ago quarter. The top line was nearly $11 million better than industry watchers had been modeling. The company also reported a 1.25% improvement in GAAP operating margin to 9.1%; it delivered adjusted earnings per share of $0.28, which was $0.04 higher than the year-ago quarter.
The sales increase was driven by a 5.5% increase in organic revenue and a 6% increase due to acquisitions. Those tailwinds were slightly held back by a 4.6% currency exchange headwind.
Management also struck a positive tone for the rest of the year, increasing its year-over-year revenue growth guidance to 7%-8%. It expects operating margins will improve 90 basis points from 2018 and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) will be between $1.57 and $1.61, up 12% to 15% from 2018.
It's good to see Bruker's executing well on its plans to kick-start growth and boost profitability, but there's more work to do. The company's energy and supercon technologies segment sales were essentially flat year over year at $44.6 million. Nevertheless, solid revenue growth, leveraged by expense management plans, should allow earnings to grow faster than sales, potentially rewarding investors throughout the remainder of 2019.