LST co’s rolling along this week

This has been quite a week for public companies in the life science research products market.  Not only is it earnings week, but the IPO market is heating up and companies are articulating their visions for the future.

First, earnings week.  The casual observer will notice that companies with significant franchises in the life science tools industry have been announcing some solid earnings this week.  And some earlier stage companies are doing pretty well.  Just a few examples:

  • Life Tech had high-single-digit organic growth (and very close to 10% after accounting for the H1N1 bump) and beat estimates (link).
  • Illumina reported 50% revenue growth compared to the Q3 2009 and beat estimates (link).
  • Waters nearly hit 10% growth and I think beat estimates, although I’m not sure by how much (link).
  • Thermo beat estimates on revenue and earnings (link).
  • Roche NimbleGen saw 22% growth in revenues ($link).
  • Codexis looks like it is going to hit $100 million in revenue this year and maybe even turn a profit (link).

Second, PacBio priced its IPO.  I think this was a big deal, regardless of your impression of the company.  The most common question I get is essentially a derivative of how a company can raise half a billion dollars, be this early in its commercialization, and yet go public.  (e.g., “I thought companies had to have $100 million in revenue to go public.  Am I missing something?”)  We can have an interesting debate about capital efficiency, the potential for DNA sequencing, etc.  And in the end we won’t know if PacBio is appropriately priced for some time.  Regardless of whether public investors will make money on PacBio’s IPO, I think this IPO is awesome.  Public investors have an appetite for life science tools investments.  And they should.  Good for them!

And third, there are so many opportunities for growth in life science tools.  If you want to know how the leaders in the industry see the universe of opportunity, read the interview in Xconomy of Life Tech’s CEO Greg Lucier.  He talks about diagnostics, personalized medicine, mobile health, industrial biotechnology, food, energy…  The company will have billions in revenue this year, and it sounds to me like he’s focused on growing the company.  Bravo.

A life science tools CEO said to me early this year: “this industry is going to be white-hot.”  Sounds about right to me.

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