It's difficult for me to find something not to like about Illumina
Revenue at the Stock Advisor recommendation was up 43% year over year in the fourth quarter. Forty-three percent! That's almost unheard of in this market, but researchers love the company's biochips and DNA sequencers.
My one gripe with Illumina has always been its whopping share-based compensation that drags down its bottom line, but that doesn't seem to be the case this quarter. Stock compensation grew by just 23% -- remember, that's compared to a 43% growth in revenue -- and the company bought back almost $71 million worth of stock. Combined, that helped grow earnings per share -- excluding items like acquisitions and last year's patent settlement with Affymetrix
The solid revenue growth looks like it's going to keep on coming, too. Illumina is guiding for revenue growth of 20% and 26%, largely driven by its installed base. Much like Intuitive Surgical's
Illumina and other providers of scientific equipment, like Thermo Fisher Scientific
With 2009 earnings including stock compensation expected to come in between $0.80 and $0.90 per share, Illumina isn't cheap; it's currently trading north of $33 per share. But investors have to be willing to pay for growth, and so far Illumina has delivered.
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