After a rough 2006 in which it struggled to integrate its acquisitions, Invitrogen
In 2007, the company managed to increase operating margins by 1% year over year and spat out $245 million in free cash flow. That's a 53% year-over-year increase in free cash flow per share.
It's an interesting dynamic for the laboratory supply companies. While almost every large drug company -- from Amgen
Invitrogen isn't done acquiring companies, either. In fact, it used some of the cash it earned in 2007 to acquire CellzDirect. The purchase helps Invitrogen continue its push into providing specialized cells for scientists, which I think is a good move for the company. Compared to companies like Becton Dickinson
Separately from Tuesday's earnings announcement, Invitrogen also announced that it had settled multiple patent lawsuits with Agilent Technologies
With the patent lawsuits out of the way, Invitrogen is free to get back to increasing efficiencies. For 2008, the company is guiding for mid-single-digit revenue increases, with adjusted earnings per share expected to grow faster in the high-single to low-double digits. If it can continue to increase operating margins, investors should continue to be rewarded for patiently waiting for the integrations to occur.