CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch Ratings has affirmed PerkinElmer Inc.'s (PerkinElmer's) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB-'. The Rating Outlook has been revised to Positive from Stable. A full list of PerkinElmer's ratings is provided at the end of this press release.
The rating action applies to approximately $858 million of consolidated debt outstanding as of June 30, 2014.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Steady Leverage Improvement
PerkinElmer steadily reduced gross debt leverage since the purchase of Caliper for $600 million in 2011. Through a combination of debt repayment and strong operational performance (EBITDA growth of more than 40%), total leverage has fallen to 2.0x for the latest 12 months (LTM) ending June 30, 2014 from 3.1x in 2011. Absent leveraging transactions, Fitch feels the present leverage level, which is commensurate with a 'BBB' rating, could be maintained primarily from solid operational performance as the company advances toward its target of adjusted operating margin of 20% in 2017.
Restructuring Savings Bolstering Margins
PerkinElmer is successfully executing upon its strategic focus toward margin expansion as evidenced by EBITDA margin increasing steadily to 19.2% for the LTM ending June 30, 2014 from 15.7% in 2011. Improvement resulted from restructuring operations with new programs announced almost quarterly, as well as product mix shift (higher margin consumables represent 58% of revenues, up from 55% last year). This year, the company hopes to raise adjusted operating margins by another 130 basis points.
In the first six months of 2014, PerkinElmer reported adjusted operating margin of 15.9% compared to 14.3% in the same time frame in 2013. During the same period, Fitch-calculated EBITDA margin of 17.5% in 2014 rose from 16.1% in 2013. Fitch sees EBITDA margin for the full year at a level similar to last year as cost savings shift to support new product launches. Fitch also expects margin to increase annually beyond 2014 from continued cost containment efforts coupled with improved mix as the company strives to grow the percentage of revenues derived from recurring sales. Maintenance of EBITDA margins approaching 20% would further support a one-notch upgrade.
Revenues Nearing Goal
PerkinElmer contends with tightened academia and government spending across the world, especially in Europe, with its diversified product portfolio spanning innovative instruments, software, testing reagents, and services. In addition, the company experienced some deferral of capital spending in China due to delayed government funding during the second quarter of the year. The company expects its overall offering to be resilient to the headwinds leading to mid-single digit organic growth in 2014, which Fitch sees as reasonable given new product introductions over the past few years. Organic sales growth was 5% and 2% in the first and second quarters of 2014, respectively.
Moreover, solid growth also arises from a healthy percentage of revenues derived from higher-growth recurring sales of reagents, consumables, and services, much of which are contractually bound. Fitch sees compound annually growth of around 4% through 2016 supported by continued demand for PerkinElmer's diversified portfolio, bolstered by new offerings across the Human Health and Environmental Health segments.
Return of Solid Free Cash Flow (FCF)
Steps taken over the past two years to fully fund the U.S. defined pension benefit plan and invest in the consolidation of operations have already started to benefit cash flows this year. FCF rose to $179.8 million margin for the LTM as of June 30, 2014, representing a FCF margin of 8.2% from FCF of $88 million in 2013 or FCF margin of 4.1%. Pressure on cash flows stemming from restructuring activities lessened in the first half of 2014, as the company undertook only two small incremental cost initiatives. Easing capital spending, a steady dividend and modest pension contributions will yield FCF around $200 million or more annually, in Fitch's estimation.
Balanced Capital Deployment
PerkinElmer's present top priority for capital deployment is asset purchasing, specifically directed to small opportunities to broaden the research and product portfolios as well as targets in adjacent markets. The company balanced capital deployment since the end of 2011 between debt reduction ($91 million), dividends ($79 million), acquisitions ($63 million), and share repurchasing ($168 million).
In the absence of acquisition opportunities, Fitch believes that shareholder returns, especially share repurchases, will take precedence over debt reduction given current financial flexibility following debt repayment over the past several years that has yielded solid leverage for the rating category. Fitch sees potential for increased share repurchasing and/or leveraging transactions over the intermediate term given the improved debt leverage and stronger FCF generation; however, Fitch feels that the actions, if realized, may be managed in a financially disciplined manner.
Positive: Future developments, individually or collectively, that may lead to positive rating action include the following:
--A one-notch upgrade could be warranted if PerkinElmer maintains gross debt leverage around 2.0x. The leverage level can be sustained even in the absence of debt reduction from solid operational performance stemming from a return to mid-single digit revenue growth that leverages a leaner operating cost structure resulting from savings derived from restructuring actions.
--Fitch would also require EBITDA margin forecasts approaching 20% prior to an upgrade.
Negative: Future developments, individually or collectively, that may lead to negative rating action include the following:
--Downward rating action would result from pressure on operations or leveraging shareholder-friendly actions such that debt leverage increases and stays above 3.0x over the intermediate term.
--An inability to improve and sustain margins at a level more commensurate with peers may compress this leverage range for negative rating action.
--Operational weakness could stem from lower-than-anticipated results due to poorer-than-expected sales performance as the company's diversified portfolio cannot withstand headwinds of spending constraint in academia and from certain geographies.
DEBT ISSUE RATINGS
Fitch has affirmed PerkinElmer Inc.'s ratings as follows:
--IDR at 'BBB-';
--Credit facility at 'BBB-';
--Senior unsecured notes at 'BBB-'.
The Rating Outlook has been revised to Positive from Stable.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Corporate Rating Methodology' (May 28, 2014).
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Corporate Rating Methodology - Including Short-Term Ratings and Parent and Subsidiary Linkage
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
70 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Brian Bertsch, New York, +1 212-908-0549
Source: Fitch Ratings
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Sept. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Casen Buswell has a rare vascular condition that causes his blood vessels, skin and muscles to harden. His case is one of only 14 known cases of glomuvenous malformations plaque type (GVM) in the world. The only hospital in the United States, and one of only a few in the world, offering treatment with the dual wave-length laser, is Methodist Children's Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. Using a laser available in South Texas only at the hospital, physicians and staff are giving Casen, 2 1/2, the chance to grow up and lead a fairly normal life.
GVM is caused by a missing glomulin gene that results in improperly formed veins in the layers of skin and deeper tissues. Casen's lesions are extensive, covering his chest, belly, arms, upper shoulders and back. As the skin hardens, it becomes extremely painful and debilitating. If left untreated, the condition can lead to heart failure.
Jenna Buswell and her husband faced many challenges—from misdiagnosis to unacceptable treatment options—in finding help for Casen. About nine weeks after Casen was born, the Buswells learned about the condition from a geneticist. A husband-and-wife doctor team in Belgium had identified the missing gene and were the only doctors in the world offering treatment. The couple was considering a move to Belgium from their home in Puyallup, Washington, when they learned that treatment was available in San Antonio.
John C. Browning, M.D., dermatologist, treats Casen at Methodist Children's Hospital using the Cynosure Multiplex Laser. The laser shrinks the blood vessels using heat and light.
"It was hard to find an answer," said Mrs. Buswell. "Dr. Browning has been amazing. As soon as we talked to him we knew that he understood the situation and was willing to work with us to find the best treatment. We knew we had to try. And, the staff at Methodist Children's Hospital has been awesome."
Methodist Children's Hospital, a facility of Methodist Hospital, opened in 1998 as the first hospital in South Texas designed and constructed especially for children. It is the pediatric hospital of choice for families in San Antonio and South Texas and is the largest provider of pediatric services west of Houston and south of Dallas. To learn more, visit www.MHSChildrens.com
MEDIA CONTACTS: Palmira Arellano, 210-325-2295 V.P., Marketing and Public Relations Shirley Wills, 210-822-2378/210-365-4488
SOURCE Methodist Children's Hospital
ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwired) -- 09/18/14 -- Prevention is better than cure when it comes to any illness, and influenza -- the flu -- is no exception. Business Pulse: Flu Prevention, launched today by the CDC Foundation, provides employers and workers with access to resources and information to prepare for the 2014-2015 flu season. Vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. population got a flu vaccine during the 2012-2013 flu season, preventing an estimated 6.6 million flu-related illnesses, 3.2 million flu-related medical visits and 79,000 hospitalizations. However, many more people could have been protected if they had gotten vaccinated. CDC will release final flu vaccination coverage estimates for the 2013-2014 season today at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases press conference, which kicks off the influenza vaccination campaign season.
Each year, on average 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, tens of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illness. Employers can play an important role in preventing flu, helping to protect employees' health and reducing losses in productivity and revenue. Business Pulse: Flu Prevention provides key, up-to-date information from CDC on how businesses can promote flu vaccination efforts and prevent flu in their employees.
"Flu is unpredictable but make no mistake -- anyone can get sick from the flu, including employees who are otherwise healthy," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Influenza also negatively impacts business continuity. Businesses that want to stay productive throughout flu season should encourage and support vaccination of their employees -- vaccination is the single most effective way to protect against flu."
This issue of Business Pulse highlights specific influenza challenges faced by businesses as well as a question and answer feature between CSX Chief Medical Officer Thomas Neilson, M.D., and Dan Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H., a captain in the United States Public Health Service and deputy director of the Influenza Division in CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Business Pulse: Flu Prevention also features an interactive infographic that provides useful facts and links, along with online CDC resources.
"CSX is a 24/7 operation, delivering transportation solutions to customers all across our 21,000 mile network. Healthy employees are critical to maintaining safe, dependable and timely freight shipments, so we devote significant energy and resources to ensuring the well-being of our workforce," said Neilson. "CDC is a valuable resource for our business, offering easy-to-understand information about the flu, as well as the benefits of antiviral drugs and answers to employees' questions about how to prevent illnesses."
Business Pulse: Flu Prevention is the fifth in a series of quarterly business features created by the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization. Other Business Pulse topics to date include business continuity, safe healthcare, global health security and travelers' health.
Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging public-private partnerships to support CDC's work 24/7 to save lives and protect people from health and safety threats. The CDC Foundation currently manages more than 200 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 58 countries around the world. Since 1995 the CDC Foundation has launched more than 700 programs and raised $400 million to advance the life-saving work of CDC. For more information, please visit www.cdcfoundation.org.
Amy Tolchinsky404.firstname.lastname@example.orgRegina Quadir404.email@example.com (to explore interviews with CDC subject matter experts)
Source: CDC Foundation
NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NYBC's Laboratory of Viral Immunology has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a mucosal universal influenza vaccine. Lanying Du., Ph.D., Co-head of the laboratory, was awarded more than $400,000 for this program.
The Laboratory of Viral Immunology at NYBC has previous experience in developing universal influenza vaccines. The NIH grant will support further development of a safe and effective mucosal universal influenza vaccine against emerging or re-emerging influenza A viruses using a bacterial spore as a vaccine delivery system.
"Influenza A viruses, particularly the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus and the newly emerging, highly virulent avian-origin H7N9, continue to pose serious threats to public health and the global economy due to their pandemic potential," said Dr. Du. "Safe and effective universal vaccines are urgently needed."
Separately, Dr. Shibo Jiang, who has published extensively on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, has been awarded a subcontract on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to his research on development of therapeutics for treatment of MERS. Dr. Jiang has authored and coauthored more than 40 peer-reviewed papers related to SARS and MERS studies. His team was the first group in the world to identify the peptidic fusion inhibitors of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and to demonstrate that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of coronavirus is an important target for developing SARS and MERS vaccines.
About Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute: Since 1964, LFKRI has led the way in blood research, breaking new ground in transfusion medicine and disease treatment and prevention. The institute is committed to furthering research efforts that support the discovery of new blood-related products, techniques, and therapies. LFKRI's work has dramatically impacted global health, improved blood banking, nurtured a generation of scientists, and added significantly to the world's store of biomedical knowledge. From the beginning, LFKRI has supported basic research to understand blood and disease at the molecular level as well as translational research that transforms the findings into major breakthroughs. Current research covers a wide variety of topics, including HIV, SARS, MERS and influenza prevention. With state-of-the-art laboratories and almost 100 researchers, LFKRI brings world-class research to life every day.
About New York Blood Center: New York Blood Center (NYBC) is one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers. For 50 years, NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the HudsonValley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program, the world's largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine. Please visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/newyorkbloodcenter. Follow us on Twitter: @NY_BloodCenter. Website: www.nybloodcenter.org.
Media Contact:Victoria O'Neill212.683.8100 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE New York Blood Center
Nuclear Matters Event in New York City Underscores Broad Bipartisan Support for Existing Nuclear Energy Plants in the State
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nuclear Matters hosted an event in Manhattan today that convened a diverse and bipartisan set of stakeholders who support the continued operation of New York State’s existing nuclear energy plants. Nuclear Matters’ leadership, including former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol M. Browner and former Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), highlighted the many benefits that existing nuclear plants bring to New York in the form of reliable, carbon-free energy as well as jobs and economic growth. The discussion was moderated by Jerry Kremer, Chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA).
“New York is a world-class place for people to live and do business,” said Kremer. “Part of our ability to remain a leader is contingent on having a reliable and affordable supply of electricity and our existing nuclear energy plants, which provide one-third of the state’s electricity, are a critical part of this equation. As the head of an organization that unites a coalition of regional business, civic, and labor leaders, I can say with confidence that there is widespread support for ensuring the continued operation of New York’s nuclear energy plants.”
“New York has always been a trailblazer, and the state’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions to ensure a cleaner energy future is no exception,” said Senator Bayh. “The continued operation of New York’s existing nuclear energy plants is critical to the state’s ability to maintain its position as an environmental leader in this country, and for it to meet its carbon reduction goals. These plants are also economic powerhouses. So the bottom line is that we must work to ensure they are properly valued for the many benefits they bring to New York.”
Browner, Bayh and Gregg drew attention to the fact that New York’s six nuclear reactors generate 33.1 percent of the state’s electricity, employ more than 3,440 highly skilled employees with an annual payroll of $274 million, and pay more than $115 million in state and local taxes. More than 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were prevented by New York’s nuclear energy facilities in 2013, the equivalent of taking more than four million passenger cars off the road.
This event was the second in a series that Nuclear Matters will host around the country in the coming months to continue the dialogue around the need to sustain existing U.S. nuclear energy plants.
To learn more or join in the efforts of Nuclear Matters, please visit www.NuclearMatters.com.
About Nuclear Matters
The mission of Nuclear Matters is to inform the public about the clear benefits that nuclear energy provides to our nation, raise awareness of the economic challenges to nuclear energy that threaten those benefits, and to work with stakeholders to explore possible policy solutions that properly value nuclear energy as a reliable, affordable and carbon-free electricity resource that is essential to America’s energy future.
Supporters of Nuclear Matters include a range of companies and organizations in the energy industry, including Ameren Missouri, American Nuclear Insurers, Arizona Public Service Company, AREVA, Black & Veatch, Burns and Roe Enterprises Inc., Dominion, Duke Energy, Energy Future Holdings Corporation, Energy Northwest, Exelon Corporation, FirstEnergy Corporation, Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy, Lightbridge Corporation, Nebraska Public Power District, NextEra Energy Inc., Omaha Public Power District, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Enrichment Corporation, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
Source: Nuclear Matters
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