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Waters Corporation

(WAT) - Get Waters Corporation Report

was plunging Tuesday as the analytical instrument manufacturer reported net income excluding some charges that missed analyst forecasts for the third time in four quarters.

Shares were plummeting 6.2% to $98.88 by afternoon trading Tuesday to pare its 2013 advance to 14%.

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The Milford, MA-based company has missed Wall Street consensus for sales for six consecutive quarters. In a Bloomberg survey, 15 analysts had predicted $466 million whereas Waters report $451 million. The company has also fallen short on earning expectations in both quarters this half. Waters reported 11% below consensus, or $1.06, as forecasts had predicted earnings per share would reach $1.21.

"A late-quarter unexpected slowdown in instrument system orders offset strong recurring revenue growth and contributed to an overall disappointing performance in the second quarter," said Waters Corp Chairman, President, and CEO Douglas Berthiaume in a statement.

Analysts from Wells Fargo, William Blair and Bank of America are mostly positive about the company's chromatography products but foresee adverse market conditions in the short-to-medium term. Wells Fargo analysts wrote in an July 23rd report that macroeconomic conditions, increased competition as well as pressure on research and development budgets and shrinking government-sponsored research opportunities could hamper the company's performance.

Waters is rated a buy or its equivalent by 9 analysts compared to 11 that have a hold rating on the shares.

-- Written by Robert Arenella in New York

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Robert Arenella