Bruker's CEO Presents At Barclays Capital Global Healthcare Conference (Transcript)

Bruker Corporation ( BRKR)

Barclays Capital Global Healthcare Conference Call

March 14, 2012 3:45 pm ET


Frank H. Laukien – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer


Christina Zhang – Barclays Capital


Christina Zhang – Barclays Capital

Hi, good afternoon and welcome to the second day of the Global Barclays Healthcare Conference. My name is Christina Zhang and I am the biopharma analyst here at Barclays. And here with us is Dr. Frank Laukien from Bruker Corporation.

Frank H. Laukien

Thanks very much, Christina. And we are now in the double-digit, so I appreciate that very much. Thank you very much for joining us this afternoon.

I'd like to point out my colleague, Stacey Desrocher, our Investor Relations Officer; she's also our Treasurer. So I need discerning questions about leverage, hedging, our balance sheet, cash flow, will all be answered by Stacey.

Let me take you through some of the highlights of what we're doing at Bruker. One thing that I'd like to point out that's not in this presentation yet, we just had a press conference at the Pittsburgh Conference or PITTCON yesterday, where we introduced several new products, including some systems for FT-IR for Hyperspectral Imaging, a number of important products. I wouldn't call them game changers, but solid products, very unique competitive profiles, and I think also very good margins.

So please refer to our website, to our latest press releases. There was quite a bit of Bruker innovation coming out at PITTCON. And yesterday we presented it to a non-financial audience of science editors and hopefully they'll write lots of great articles about it.

So I think you are familiar by now with our Safe Harbor statements and these are the fundamentals that's really the culture of Bruker. We are focused on fast profitable growth. Yes, we consider ourselves a growth company even at $1.6 billion, and at any given time, given the organic growth engine, given our investment in innovation and in new products, we really have delivered a lot of that in the year 2009. When everybody was down, we were still growing 2%. Last year we grew 26%, and as you may see later, this year we're projecting 7% to 10% organic growth, which I think is very good.

So, fast growth, fast profitable growth. We had excellent margin expansion in 2009-2010. In 2011 we were not fully satisfied with our margin expansion and we've set pretty aggressive goals, but hopefully a conservative guidance of a 120 to 140 BPS operating margin expansion for our scientific instruments business.

So you see a company focusing on innovation, focusing on organic growth. Financially that also means we're very much focused on ROIC. I think just EPS accretion, cash EPS accretion, because credit is inexpensive, and with acquisitions, I think that's not good enough. I think I as a shareholder of this company, and our Bruker Board certainly and hopefully many of our investors are expecting more of that. Of course working capital ratio improvements, it's been a long day of one-on-ones, but also very much ROIC, where we right now are the low 20s and hope to get back to the high 30s where we have been traditionally also previously as a private company.

So without dwelling on these slides, I think you know that by now we have a rather diversified 51-year-old, I would call it a transatlantic company. We started in Europe from a number of organic initiatives and some acquisitions that we did recently. We now very much have R&D and manufacturing on both sides of the Atlantic. We don't own any factories in Asia. We do a lot of manufacturing, and a lot of manufacturing is done for us in Asia, and of course we serve the markets in Asia, Europe and North America.

I think very important then really, a point that in numerous one-on-ones today I ended up making over and over again the fact, why are we growing so fast with concerns about Europe and CapEx and NIH? There should be three strikes against Bruker, at least that was the storyline that I have heard very often in the middle of last year.

Our relentless focus on product R&D and innovation is part of the story. And the other story is sort of in that yellow text box here, more important than what's happening in Mediterranean Europe, or whether NIH spending is going up or down or going sideways, are really these secular trends in the life sciences, post-genomics, epigenetics, a much more differentiated approach to proteomics where the traditional grind up all sales were marginized and then digested. It's kind of a primitive way of doing proteomics. That's how you collect all the bricks, but that's not how you build the house.

I think the approach of doing Spatial Proteomics like a pathologist would, where you retain the cellular or tissue information with imaging mass spectrometry, top-down proteomics, very important if you really want to get complete information, including functional information, including annoying, vexing, but the reality in biology, heterogeneous protein samples, you do not get that from a bottom-up proteomics approach.

Very key, and that takes us to the next topic and big secular trend is the push in biologics or Biosimilars, Biogenerics. But biologics generally, we hope to do with our unique mass spectrometry tools of MALDI TOF/TOF and our unique maXis ultra-high resolution, Qq-TOF mass spectrometry lines, we can do completely unique things that nobody else in mass spectrometry can do for top-down proteomics, for looking at intact proteins, to measure all the way to intact antibodies, and without digesting them looking at glycosylation levels, looking at what may have gone wrong in a fomenter for a biologics drug, of course doing the same things in late developments, during FDA submissions.

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