Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO)
Q4 2011 Earnings Call
February 01, 2012 8:30 am ET
Kenneth J. Apicerno - Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer
Marc N. Casper - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Member of Strategy & Finance Committee and Member of Science & Technology Committee
Peter M. Wilver - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President
Ross Muken - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division
Paul R. Knight - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division
Jonathan P. Groberg - Macquarie Research
Doug Schenkel - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division
Amit Bhalla - Citigroup Inc, Research Division
Jon Davis Wood - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division
Tycho W. Peterson - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division
Quintin J. Lai - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division
Peter Lawson - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division
Derek De Vries - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division
Previous Statements by TMO
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Kenneth J. Apicerno
Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for joining us. On the call with me today is Marc Casper, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Pete Wilver, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Please note, this call is being webcast live and will be archived on the Investors section of our website, thermofisher.com, under the heading Webcasts and Presentations until March 2, 2012. A copy of the press release of our 2011 fourth quarter and full year earnings and future expectations is available on our website under the heading Financial Results. So before we begin, let me briefly cover our Safe Harbor statement.
Various remarks that we may make about the company's future expectations, plans and prospects constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those discussed in the company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 1, 2011, under the caption Risk Factors, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available in the Investors section of our website under the heading SEC Filings. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change. Therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to today.
Also, during this call, we'll be referring to certain financial measures not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is available in the press release of our fourth quarter 2011 earnings and future expectations, and also in the Investors section of our website under the heading Financial Information. So with that, I'll now turn the call over to Marc.
Marc N. Casper
Thanks, Ken. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for our 2011 fourth quarter and year-end earnings call. As I look back at 2011, it was a year where we significantly advanced Thermo Fisher Scientific's strategic position as the industry leader. And it was another year of consistently executing our proven strategy to create shareholder value.
In 2011, we delivered excellent adjusted EPS growth, with a 20% increase year-over-year for another record performance. I'm proud of our teams for executing on their plans to translate our top line results into strong bottom line growth.
You will recall from our Analyst Meeting last year that I said our priority was to consistently deliver strong adjusted EPS growth, and we clearly met that objective again in 2011. Before I cover our achievements for the full year, let's turn to the fourth quarter financials and I'll try to give you a sense of the playing field as we see it based on how our businesses closed out the year.
As you read in our press release, adjusted EPS for Q4 grew 23% to a record $1.18. Revenues in the fourth quarter increased 15% to a record $3.13 billion. We also expanded our adjusted operating margin by 100 basis points in the quarter to 18.9%.
We ended the year on a strong note and I'm especially pleased with our top line growth. We came in just above the high end of our expectations due to 3 reasons. First, our teams executed well against their plans. Second, we benefited from early traction on the additional share gain initiatives we put in place in the third quarter, which I'll highlight later in my remarks. And third, while the market conditions played out pretty much as we expected, we did see sequential improvement in the academic and government customer segment later in the quarter.
Let me take a few minutes to provide an overview of what we saw in our end markets in more detail. Let's start with academic and government. As you recall, we saw a significant slowdown in this end market in Q3. Uncertainty around the future of NIH budgets, as well as the budget crisis in many European countries was causing many of our customers to put their buying decisions on hold.
In Q4, although conditions got sequentially better, the market was still relatively weak overall. Once the U.S. federal budget for 2012 was passed, with the small increase for NIH, we believe that our customers gained more confidence and that some pent-up demand kicked in late in the quarter, especially in spending for laboratory consumables.
In addition, we believe that some of our new share gain initiatives began to take hold. By share gain initiatives, I'm referring to our focus on arming our commercial teams with the best products, targeting our sales efforts with the greatest opportunities and then converting those opportunities into revenues by closing sales. Specific examples include our Q Exactive launch, adding new HPLC capabilities from Dionex and leveraging our channels to drive sales of our specialty diagnostic products.