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Waters Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

The second quarter started up positively for us, as most orders that we had identified as delayed in the first quarter were booked in April and as business momentum initially improved in India with the issuance of new capital budgets.

In May, we had a strong presence at ASMS, where our new products were well received and where we felt encouraged that demand for research-focused instrumentation might hold up better than expected, this despite heavily publicized concerns that academic and government budgets were under pressure.

On the other hand, as the quarter unfolded, we began to see general economic conditions weaken in Europe and in some Asian countries. The value of the euro and the rupee fell from levels that we saw in April. And it seems as if the approval processes for instrument purchases in nearly all of our larger accounts were dragging on a little longer than anticipated. In general, a greater level of conservatism was marginally impacting demand across almost all of our end markets.

Consequently, our orders and shipments in the second quarter came in a little lighter than we had hoped, and our current outlook for sales growth in the remainder of the year is accordingly tempered to account for market uncertainties.

Fortunately, we ended the quarter with a conservative spending plan and throughout the quarter, tightly controlled our spending while maintaining disciplined pricing policies. Flexibility of our business model allowed us to deliver operating leverage despite a foreign exchange headwind and lower-than-anticipated shipment volume.

All in, we managed to deliver adjusted 8% EPS growth on sales that grew organically at about 4.5% and at 1% after foreign currency translation.

For the Waters division and geographically, Asian markets outside of China and Japan were weaker than we had expected, as industrial chemical and applied market segments declined in the quarter.

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