- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of Beckman Coulter Inc. rose Thursday after a Barclays analyst upgraded the stock, pointing to its dependable supply revenue, and its recent buyout of Olympus Corp.’s lab-based diagnostics business.

C. Anthony Butler upgraded the biomedical diagnostics instrument maker’s stock to “Overweight” from “Equal weight,” and shares picked up $1.34, or 2.9 percent, to $48.04 in midday trading. Butler said the company has a steady stream of recurring revenue, which Beckman Coulter defines as sales of supplies and test kits, and service and lease payments, while the Olympus acquisition will bring in new revenue and sustain the company’s growth.

Beckman Coulter reported $2.4 billion in recurring revenue in 2008, or more than three quarters of its $3.1 billion in total revenue. The company expects those sales to grow another 6 to 7 percent this year, excluding the impact of currency exchanges.

“The company’s recurring-revenue model provides it both stability and visibility - both rare in this environment,” Butler said.

The Orange County, Calif., company agreed in late February to buy Olympus’s diagnostics business for $800 million, a move it said would add $500 million in revenue and $40 million to $50 million in profit in 2010. Butler said the move will make the company stronger outside the U.S. and improve its market share in immune system diagnostic tests.

He holds a price target of $55 per share, which implies the stock will advance 17.8 percent over the next year.

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