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EARNINGS : Beckman Sees 3rd-Quarter Profits Rise

October 24, 1989|LESLIE BERKMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Beckman Instruments, the Fullerton maker of scientific and medical diagnostic laboratory equipment, reported slightly higher net earnings for its third quarter this year over last, despite softness worldwide in the life sciences market.

Beckman posted net earnings of $9.4 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to net earnings of $9.3 million for the quarter in 1988; sales for the period, however, fell 2%, to $186.7 million from $190.3 million.

The company said it had been able to bolster earnings by cutting sales and administrative expenses. Beckman initiated a 150-worker reduction during the period that should be completed by the end of the year.

The company also said its interest expense for the third quarter was lower than for the period a year ago, when it borrowed money to finance its spinoff, done early this year, from SmithKline Beckman Inc.

For the first nine months, Beckman posted net earnings of $31.5 million, up slightly from the $31.3 million reported for the first three quarters of 1988. Sales totaled $586.2 million, 3% over the $571.2 million tally for the same period last year.

The company said third-quarter sales were depressed because of the reduction worldwide in public spending for biomedical research. A secondary reason, the company said, was the U.S. dollar's gaining strength reduced the value of foreign sales.

"During 1989 we have seen worldwide constraints in public spending for biomedical research which may continue into 1990," Lou Rosso, Beckman chief executive officer and chairman, said in a prepared statement.

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