Purification and filtration systems manufacturer Pall has reported flat fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts' expectations, although group sales grew by 7 per cent to $504.5 million (€418m).
Shares of Pall closed down 5.5 per cent at $23.60 on the day of the announcement, after the company reported income for the quarter ending 31 July of $55.6 million, or 44 cents per share.
For the full year, sales increased 9.5 per cent to $1.77 billion, while earnings for the full year increased 7.5 per cent to $159.8 million, or $1.26 per share.
The company said it had year-over-year fourth-quarter sales increases in its general industrial division, but sales fell in the life sciences and biopharmaceutical units.
In the life sciences division, growth in biosciences and the core blood business was offset by lower sales in pharmaceuticals and critical care. Sales came in at $202.5 million, a decrease of 1.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, sales in biopharmaceuticals were down 2 per cent as the decline in the plasma fractionation industry offset continuing growth of biotechnology products, a performance that chief executive Eric Krasnoff described as 'very disappointing' in a conference call.
Biopharmaceuticals has been held up as a segment likely to drive long-term growth at the company, given the high number of biological drugs coming through to market at present and in the future.
Pall - which is in the process of re-organising its business into three divisions as part of a cost-reduction programme, has forecast fiscal 2005 earnings of $1.38 to $1.52 a share. The three divisions are: Life Sciences, comprising Medical and BioPharmaceuticals; Aeropower, comprising Aerospace and General Industrial's Machinery & Equipment business; and Pall Process Technologies, comprising Food & Beverage, Fuels & Chemicals, Power Generation, Municipal Water and Microelectronics.