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13 Steps to Investing Foolishly / ElricSeven's Research Corner


Subject:  Re: Perkin Elmer (PKI) Date:  7/4/2002  2:14 AM
Author:  bjanssen Number:  1842 of 1856

Hi Greg et al

I know this is an old reply but anyway Greg had it pretty much right Applera used to be Perkin Elmer cetus in the deep dark distant past. Cetus was the company that bought some of the original PCR patent Roche got the rest.

Then Perkin ELmer dropped the Cetus part of the name.

Then Perkin Elmer swollowed Applied biosystems which made really sexy sequencing machines and had a really really strong brand identity. After some time the GMs at Perkin Elmer finally realised that the ABI name was stronger than the PE name and did this really tricky deal where the company that bought Packard got to get the Perkin Elmer name but no rights to PCR and none of the sexy equipment and what finally became Applera was born.

Of course it turned out that Applera was still not as stroing a brand as ABI which now sort lives as a wholely owned subsidery of Applera but trades on it's own name as an excellent equipment manufacturer.

Meanwhile the company that became Perkin Elmer got stuck with Packard equipment which had a reputation as the ugly girl who never got any prom dates with the cool jocks but occassionally got invited to chess tournements with the chemistry club. Seriously Packard built it's reputation making analytical equipment for chemists. there was a brief and sad foray into microarray equipment which was bought out by Agilent which was really odd because it was the worst piece of .... on the market.

Nowadays my Perkin Elmer catalog has some very nice stuff in it particularly the NEN portion which makes fluorescently labelled nucleotides used in most microarray experiments and also radioisotope labelled compounds. It seems to me that the company is trying to get a focus on detection systems where they make the label that is incorperated into the biological sample and then make the equipment to detect that label. I personally think they are more successful at the former.

The other big part of PE is Wallac which I really don't have as much familiarity with since it never really entered the NZ market. My impression is that Wallac was a generic equipment supplier but I could be badly wrong.

As for investing in PE, well it seems to me to have some good bits and some not so good bits. NEN has a really strong brand name in Molecular biology circles and is very trusted. My feeling is that PE will rise and fall in parallel with the generic biotech market. they have been and still are a supplier to biotech. They'll not really get the huge payoffs that a drug discoverer might but they equally won't get hammerred at the slightest whiff of FDA problems. Not a bad pick and shovel company but honestly there are more exciting companies with more innovative approaches.

Anyway I gotta run which means I can't check this for typos.


PS I like liver
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