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Waters 4Q Net Up 22% As Sales Rise; Results Top Views

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Waters Corp.'s (WAT) fourth-quarter profit rose 22% and adjusted earnings topped its upbeat forecast as sales climbed and margins improved. The laboratory-equipment maker has reported improved results in recent quarters as demand has increased. Chairman and Chief Executive Douglas Berthiaume said Tuesday "strong uptake of our new system offerings, continued business expansion in Asian markets and an improvement in economic conditions drove sales growth" in the latest period. Waters posted a profit of $126.6 million, or $1.36 a share, up from $104.1 million, or $1.08 a share, a year earlier. Amortization of purchased intangibles and restructuring charges cut the latest-quarter's profit by 2 cents and the prior-year result by 4 cents. The company in October had forecast a profit of $1.28 to $1.33, exceeding analysts' estimates at the time. Net sales jumped 13% to $483.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $465 million. Gross margin widened to 60.9% from 60.3%. Shares closed Monday at $78.26 and were inactive in premarket trading. Through the latest close, the stock is up 32% over the past year. -By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240;

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