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Waters 2Q Net Up 18% On Strong Asian Sales, New Products

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Waters Corp.'s (WAT) second-quarter profit jumped 18% as revenue continued to climb. "Strong Asian sales and positive customer acceptance of our new product offerings highlighted Waters quarterly performance," Chairman and Chief Executive Douglas Berthiaume said. "Overall business trends in the quarter suggest solid underlying demand and continued support for our current product and market initiatives." The laboratory-equipment maker has reported strong results in recent quarters on higher demand. The company has seen business in Asia continue to expand as improved market conditions and new-product development have boosted overall sales growth. Waters reported earnings of $100.1 million, or $1.07 a share, up from $84.9 million, or 90 cents, a year ago. Excluding writedowns, tax adjustments and other items, earnings climbed to $1.08 from 93 cents. Sales rose for the seventh straight quarter, increasing 14% to $447.6 million. Foreign currency translation contributed 6% to sales growth. In April, the company forecast earnings per share of $1.10 and $1.15 on revenue of about $449.7 million, both higher than analyst estimates at the time. Gross margin widened to 60.7% from 60.3%. Research and development expenses increased 10%. Shares closed at $97.10 Monday and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 47% over the past 12 months. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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