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Techne Earnings Up

Gross margins expand.

Techne

(TECH) - Get Bio-Techne Corporation Report

said Wednesday its first-quarter earnings rose 15.5%, helped by higher sales and improved gross margins.

The Minneapolis-based healthcare company earned $19.6 million, or 50 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $17 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 49 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

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First-quarter revenue rose 9.7% to $52.4 million as against analysts' expectation of $52.2 million.

Techne plans to pay off its $13.1 million mortgage debt in the second quarter and expects prepayment of the mortgage would reduce earnings by penny a share in the quarter.

Gross margin improved 180 basis points to 78.5%.

The shares of the company were trading down 3 cents at $54.96 Wednesday.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.