Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO -1.63%) is a top international healthcare company with a market cap of over $210 billion. The business is robust and always finding new ways to grow. It recently released its first-quarter results for 2022, which confirmed what many investors already know: This is an incredibly safe stock to hold in your portfolio.

Not only did revenue rise significantly due to an acquisition, but the rest of Thermo Fisher's numbers also looked solid. Here's a look at how the company performed in Q1 and what should stand out to investors.

A person giving a presentation at a business meeting.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Revenue growth came from multiple areas of its business

For the three-month period ended April 2, Thermo Fisher's reported revenue of $11.8 billion rose 19% year over year. It attributes that primarily to acquisitions, with organic revenue growth coming in at 3%. The key acquisition that boosted these results was Thermo Fisher's $17.4 billion purchase of clinical research services company PPD, which closed in December of last year.

But across the board, in all but one of its segments (specialty diagnostics), Thermo Fisher reported positive year-over-year revenue growth.

Source: Company filings. Chart by author.

Laboratory products and biopharma services generated the most growth at 51% due to the acquisition. But even with the sharp increase in sales, it still doesn't even account for half of all revenue, which demonstrates just how diverse Thermo Fisher's business is. It now represents just under 43% of segmented revenue (before any intercompany eliminations) compared with 33% in the prior-year period. 

2. Its margins remain impressive

What's impressive is that even as Thermo Fisher is integrating the new business into its operations, and there are bound to be inefficiencies and redundancies that need to be eliminated, the company continues to post strong margins.

Source: Company filings. Chart by author.

Although there was a drop in these margins for 2022, they should improve over time as the businesses (PPD and Thermo Fisher) work together to become more efficient.

3. Cash flow has improved

Another sign of a strong business is tons of cash flow. In Q1, Thermo Fisher's free cash flow rose by 15% to over $1.5 billion. If the healthcare company can continue to bring in that kind of cash, and there's nothing to suggest it won't be able to, that will enable Thermo Fisher to take on more acquisitions in the future and to further expand and diversify its business.

Source: Company filings. Chart by author.

Thermo Fisher is a safe stock that would fit well in any portfolio

Although shares of Thermo Fisher are down 18% this year, which is slightly worse than the S&P 500's losses of 12%, the business' fundamentals are sound. Buying the stock today while it has dipped in price could be a solid move for investors.

Its price-to-earnings multiple of 28 may seem a bit steep (the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund averages a multiple of 22), but Thermo Fisher is arguably worth the premium given its strong financials and the likelihood that it will continue to get bigger in the future.