Should You Be Worried About Danaher?

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Danaher (NYS: DHR) , the medical equipment and water treatment company, saw its third-quarter earnings fall by 19%. But this was primarily due to expenses it incurred on its latest acquisition, and results actually beat analyst expectations. Let's take a closer, Foolish look at the company's performance.

Revenues up, but earnings down
Surprisingly, Danaher's revenue increased by an impressive 46% to $4.5 billion from the year-ago quarter. However, the huge increase in revenue was helped by the acquisition of Beckman Coulter, a company that makes equipment used for detecting medical conditions and diseases. Danaher's biggest segment, life sciences and diagnostics, saw its sales more than double from the acquisition of Beckman. If you exclude the Beckman purchase, the company's core revenue would register a 7.5% increase.

A businesswide glance
The company's test and measurement segment revenue increased by 23% to $856.7 million. This was due to strong sales from industrial, automation, and calibration related products, as well as strong demand for network management solutions. In contrast, the environmental segment saw a relatively smaller 8% increase in revenue to $734.6 million.

But life sciences and diagnostics really stole the show with a remarkable 180% jump in revenue. This is mainly due to the company's acquisition of Beckman Coulter for $5.78 billion. The company aims to establish a stronger presence in the medical diagnostics sector through this purchase. However, despite the jaw-dropping revenue, operating profit for this segment plummeted 25% due to restructuring and integration related expenses.

The company's dental segment saw revenue increase by 11% to $492.6 million on the back of solid organic growth and strong demand for its products in North America and Europe.

Danaher's second-largest segment, industrial technologies, saw more than a 21% increase in revenue due to a secular growth across major geographies and product categories.

There is an air of caution sweeping across the boardrooms of many manufacturing companies, including Danaher. Manufacturers have concerns regarding the prospects of the domestic economy -- particularly for construction markets -- even after dishing out quarterly profits that went beyond Wall Street expectations.

Apart from Danaher, Ingersoll-Rand (NYS: IR) , a diversified industrial company, and Cooper Industries (NYS: CBE) , an electrical products maker, reported higher-than-expected earnings but were nevertheless cautious about the fourth quarter.

Though Danaher has managed to grow core revenue to a certain extent, I feel that the company might face some problems in the future if negative economic factors continue. It would be interesting to see how the company and its peers pull through these uncertain times. To stay up to speed on the latest developments at Danaher, add it to your watchlist.

  • To add Ingersoll Rand to your watchlist, click here.
  • To add Cooper Industries to your watchlist, click here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Keki Fatakia does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. 

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