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Restructuring Brings Beckman Instruments Good News : Industry: Cutting work force by 1,000 and other moves take company from loss column to healthy profit in one year.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Crediting a restructuring program started in 1993, Beckman Instruments Inc. Monday reported a profit of $42.2 million for 1994, contrasted with a loss of $37.6 million for the previous year.

The Fullerton-based company, which makes medical laboratory equipment, said its earnings would have been higher except for accounting changes plus the costs of a restructuring that cut its work force by 1,000. Those one-time expenses, the company said, totaled $16.1 million.

Annual sales were up 1.5% to $888.6 million from $875.7 million.

The company said its diagnostic equipment sales in the United States grew 9%, offsetting depressed markets in Europe and restrictions on domestic funding of life sciences research.

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“The company has reduced expenses by a lot in the past year and a half,” said Robert C. Dunne, an analyst for the brokerage Wasserstein Perella Securities in New York. “We are seeing some of the benefits of that.”

Beckman said the one-time costs included $11.5 million charged against earnings for restructuring and a $5.1-million after-tax charge to adopt a new accounting standard.

The work-force reduction included about 350 people who left under an early retirement program, the company said. The rest were laid off.

With the one-time charges, earnings per share came to $1.50, contrasted with a loss of $1.35 a share for 1993.

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Kenneth R. Kulju, an analyst for the brokerage UBS Securities in New York, said of Beckman’s annual results: “It looks to us like the restructuring indeed generated returns. . . . They had to improve efficiency, and it looks to us like they accomplished that.”

For the fourth quarter, Beckman posted a profit of $13.2 million, or 47 cents a share, contrasted with a loss of $67.0 million, or $2.41 a share, for the same period a year earlier. Three-month sales were $250.0 million, up nearly 6% from $236.6 million.

Turn-around at Beckman

Beckman Instruments Inc. reported a profit of $42.2 million for 1994 on a 1.5% increase in revenue. That was a significant improvement over 1993, when the company lost nearly $40 million. The company ended 1994 with 1,000 fewer employees. Figures in millions except data per share:

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Percent 1993 1994 change Total revenue $875.7 $ 888.6 1.5 Net earnings -37.6 42.2 -- Earnings per share -1.35 1.50 --

Source: Beckman Instruments Inc.; Researched by VALERIE WILLIAMS-SANCHEZ / Los Angeles Times


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