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What: Shares of Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ:BRKR), a global manufacturer of life science and material research systems, fell as much as 13% after reporting its third-quarter earnings results.
So what: For the quarter, Bruker reported a 2% decline in revenue to $439 million, hurt by a whopping 27.1% decline in its superconducting operations. On an adjusted basis, net income fell by 31.8% from the previous year with Bruker delivering $0.20 in adjusted EPS. The Street, by comparison, was expecting Bruker to report EPS of $0.22 on sales of $452.4 million. To make matters worse, due to weak near-term earnings visibility Bruker lowered its full-year forecast. The company now expects revenue to come in somewhere between a decline of 1% to flat (versus previous expectations of 2%-3% growth), and is forecasting EPS of $0.72-$0.76 versus prior guidance of $0.80-$0.83.
Now what: I normally won't give too much credence to just one earnings report, but I'm a bit concerned that its materials segment, specifically weak orders from the Asia-Pacific region, is what's causing Bruker to pare back its guidance. This should be an area of moderate organic growth and instead Bruker is witnessing tepid order growth instead. To me, that would signal the potential for ongoing weakness here rather than just a one-quarter earnings flop. I do like the instrumentation and life science analysis sectors moving forward, but Bruker may be a name to consider staying away from until its top-line growth proves otherwise.
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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