Filtration and purification products provider Pall Corp. on Tuesday reported robust first-quarter gains in revenue and earnings that were led by strength in sales to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
The Port Washington company's shares rose 3.5 percent Tuesday to $98. The stock was the biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The shares are up nearly 15 percent year to date.
Pall's revenue increased 11 percent to $696.5 million compared with the year-ago quarter, and net income climbed 23.4 percent to $88.3 million. Diluted earnings per share rose from 63 cents in the 2013 quarter to 81 cents.
"We delivered an exceptional quarter," chairman and chief executive Larry Kingsley said in a statement. He said that "organic revenue growth" excluding acquisitions was 9 percent and that the company's operating margin expanded more than 2 percentage points.
In the quarter ended Oct. 31, sales to pharmaceutical and biotech companies rose to $227 million, a 16 percent increase versus the prior year's period.
The company's acquisition of Michigan City, Indiana-based Filter Specialists Inc. in May drove strong growth in sales to fuel and chemical companies, the company reported.
Kingsley said the company is confident that Pall's growth will offset the negative effect of a strong U.S. dollar during fiscal 2015.
The company restated its outlook for pro forma diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2015 to be between $3.75 and $3.95 per share.
In a conference call Kingsley said that the order of Pall's priorities in employing its capital is: making life sciences acquisitions; finding "opportunistic" complementary businesses for other parts of the portfolio; and repurchasing stock.
In a research note, Wedbush analyst David Rose said that sales in Pall's life sciences businesses showed double-digit growth across all geographic regions: the Americas, 11.9 percent; Europe, 12.5 percent; and Asia, 19.2 percent.