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Author: TMFTwitty Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121  
Subject: Immucor Bloodied Date: 12/16/2003 4:11 PM
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http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2003/mft03121612.htm?ref=btp

Immucor Bloodied

By Alyce Lomax
December 16, 2003

Immucor (Nasdaq: BLUD), which makes instruments used by hospitals, labs, and blood banks for blood transfusions, could use a transfusion of its own -- of investor confidence, that is. The stock became one of the Nasdaq's largest percentage losers Tuesday after it said its fiscal second-quarter earnings will miss analysts' expectations.

The company said that second-quarter earnings will come in at $0.14 cents per share, quite a far cry from the $0.20 per share analysts were looking for. Immucor didn't have great news concerning fiscal 2004 earnings either, saying it expects to earn $0.71 to $0.75 per share, lower than the old $0.83 per share expectation.

Immucor's lower-than-expected results were, in part, blamed on a charge of $924,000, or $0.03 per share, related to a new credit facility that it described as having terms "much more favorable to the company."

With overall revenues of $27.2 million, Immucor said its U.S. portion of revenues are expected to fall to $17.3 million in the second quarter from $18.5 million in the previous quarter, a development that was blamed in part on sluggish domestic instrument sales as well as weakening margins.

For anyone wondering if the unexpected shortfall means demand for its products is draining away, Immucor's press release answer was to say that instrument sales cycles are difficult to predict due to their long sales cycle. In addition, the company related lower-than-anticipated sales of serum and cell products to customer order patterns in the U.S. and the fact that European distributors are reducing inventories due to Immucor's products receiving CE marking, a regulatory mark that allows products free access to all countries in the European Union.

It may be tempting for some investors to look at the stock's weakness as an opportunity to buy, especially considering that the charge seems a temporary consideration that should result in some cost reductions for the company. However, for now, waiting to see how demand shapes up for its products seems a prudent move.

Is Immucor a value, or best untouched right now? Talk it over with other Fools on the Healthcare discussion board.
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