Danaher Corp.'s (DHR) first-quarter earnings rose 43% as the diversified manufacturer's revenue growth got a boost from acquisitions.
For the current quarter, Danaher forecast per-share earnings of 76 cents to 81 cents, including anticipated dilution of a penny from its recent deal to acquire X-Rite Inc. (XRIT). Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share earnings of 82 cents.
The company narrowed its 2012 per-share earnings estimate to $3.25 to $3.35 from its previous range of $3.20 to $3.35. The new forecast includes 3 cents of anticipated dilution related to X-Rite.
Danaher has remained acquisitive, mostly focusing its efforts on medical technology, testing and measurement and dental equipment. The acquisition of Beckman Coulter last year for $5.78 billion was Danaher's largest deal and gives the company a stronger foothold in the growing diagnostics industry.
More recently Danaher reached a $478 million deal for color-measurement technology company X-Rite in a move Danaher expects will complement its Esko digital design capabilities and further its lead in the product identification industry.
President and Chief Executive H. Lawrence Culp Jr. said the company was encouraged by the quarter-to-quarter business improvement and expects that core growth will accelerate in the second quarter.
Danaher reported a profit of $612.9 million, or 86 cents a share, up from $429.4 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations were up at 73 cents from 61 cents. Danaher in January had projected earnings of 66 cents to 71 cents.
Revenue increased 31% to $4.32 billion. Excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations, revenue was up 1.5%
Analysts recently projected $4.33 billion.
Gross margin fell to 51.8% from 53.1%.
Shares closed Wednesday at $54.69 and were inactive premarket.
-By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com