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Danaher Beats Earnings Forecast, Issues Fresh 2021 Sales Guidance

Danaher said it expects full-year sales to grow in the "high-teens percentage range" after a stronger-than-expected first quarter.

Danaher Corp  (DHR) - Get Danaher Corporation Report posted much stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Thursday, while issuing fresh 2021 guidance, as it continues to benefit from last year's $21.4 billion deal for GE Biopharma. 

Danaher said adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in March were pegged at $2.52 per share, up 140% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.75 per share. Group revenues, Danaher said, surged 58% to $6.9 billion, again besting analysts' estimates of a $6.26 billion tally.

Looking into the 2021 financial year, Danaher said it sees non-GAAP core revenue growth, including sales from Cytiva -- the renamed biopharma business it purchased from General Electric last year -- to be in the "high-teens percentage range" with a 'mid-20 percent range" forecast for the current quarter. 

"We had a very strong start to the year, delivering better-than-expected first quarter results across our portfolio," said CEO Rainer Blair. "This broad-based outperformance was driven by double-digit core revenue growth in our base business, and our ongoing contributions to the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic tests."

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"Our record top-line performance contributed to strong earnings per share growth and cash flow generation and, we believe, continued market share gains in many of our businesses," he added.  

Danaher shares were marked 4% higher in early trading  following the earnings release to change hands at $254.33 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 14% and value the Chicago-based group at more than $180 billion.