Beckman downturn is a time to buy

Article Excerpt

BECKMAN COULTER INC. $55 (New York symbol BEC; WSSF Rating: Average) is a long-time favorite of ours due to its rare combination of strong growth at moderate risk. It also operates in a growing field, and every system it sells gives it a new long-term supplies customer. It should also gain from an increased emphasis on early detection and treatment of diseases. Beckman makes lab analysis equipment for hospitals, clinics and medical research firms. These machines detect and measure substances in blood and other body fluids. Beckman has installed more than 200,000 of its systems in about 130 countries. The United States accounts for just over half of its revenue. Revenue rose steadily, from $2.0 billion in 2001 to $2.44 billion in 2005. Income before non-recurring items grew from $2.21 a share (total $141.5 million) in 2001 to $3.21 a share ($210.9 million) in 2004. Shift to leasing hurt 2005 growth In 2005, the company changed the way it sells its diagnostic systems. Customers…

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