Invitrogen ( IVGN), which provides products and services used in genetic research and drug production, said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 62.6% from the year-ago period, on acquisitions. The company earned $49.6 million, or 87 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $30.5 million, or 55 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for items earnings were $50.8 million, or 90 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 88 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 24.1% from a year ago to $325.3 million, boosted by about 17% from acquisitions. Analysts were expecting revenue of $317 million in the most recent quarter. The company expects to earn $3.90 a share to $4.10 a share for the year 2006, on revenue of $1.33 billion to $1.35 billion. Analysts project earnings of $3.98 a share on revenue of $1.34 billion. For the fourth-quarter gross profit rose 11.6% to $181.4 million, compared with $162.6 million, a year ago. Gross margin decreased 620 basis points to 55.8%, compared with 62%, a year ago. Operating profit fell 34.5% to $27 million, compared with $41.2 million, a year ago. Operating margin decreased 740 basis points to 8.3%, compared with 15.7%, a year ago. By segment, fourth-quarter revenue from bio-discovery segment rose 38.8% from a year ago to $206.8 million. Gross margin decreased 200 basis points to 68%, compared with 70%, a year ago. Operating margin was flat with 25%. Revenue from bio-production segment rose 4.6% from a year ago to $118.4 million. Gross margin decreased 600 basis points to 45%, compared with 51%, a year ago. Operating margin decreased 600 basis points to 20%, compared with 26%, a year ago. Separately, the company announced that James Glynn, who had served as Invitrogen's CEO and finance chief, would retire as a board member on April 21.