Danaher beats quarterly estimates on strength in diagnostics business

(Reuters) - Danaher beat quarterly profit and sales expectations on Tuesday, driven by strength in its diagnostics and bioprocessing businesses, sending shares of the life sciences firm up more than 7% before the bell.

However, the company forecast a low single-digit percentage decline in its 2024 adjusted core revenue, as it expects the impact of reduced demand to continue into the second quarter of 2024.

Danaher and rival Thermo Fisher forecast annual sales below expectations in January on slowing growth in China paired with a funding crunch in biotech.

Rising interest rates have squeezed funding needed for drug development programs, weighing on demand for contract research services offered by these companies.

The company's biotechnology segment, which provides equipment for the development and delivery of biological medicines, posted sales of $1.52 billion, compared to a forecast of $1.47 billion.

CEO Rainer Blair said, "We were especially pleased to see improving order trends in our bioprocessing business and believe we continued to gain market share in our molecular diagnostics business..."

Danaher reported sales of $5.80 billion for the quarter ended March 29, beating analysts' forecast of $5.62 billion, according to LSEG data.

On an adjusted basis, the company reported a profit of $1.92 per share for the first quarter, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.71 per share.

(Reporting by Christy Santhosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore)