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IBO indices split on March financial news.

Economic recovery remained sluggish throughout March, with job growth continuing to disappoint yet again. The US Department of Labor reported a minimal increase of 21,000 workers in February, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.6%. The Department also revised its January job growth forecast down 15,000 to 97,000, while cutting December's job growth figure in half to just 8,000. Also, the Commerce Department announced fourth quarter GDP growth of just 4.1% during the final quarter of the year, half the impressive 8.2% growth experienced during the third quarter of 2003. Gas prices may begin to play a larger role in the struggling economy as well, since OPEC recently announced it would reduce crude oil output as planned. On a positive note, the Consumer Price Index rose just 0.3% in February compared to the 0.5% gain in January, indicating inflation is at a bare minimum. The three major US market indices experienced minimal losses in March. The S&P 500 dropped just 1.6% to 1,126.214, the NASDAQ slipped 1.8% to 1,994.224 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.1% to 10,357.70.

Two of the four IBO indices grew during the month, while the other two indices showed declines. The Laboratory Equipment/Distributor Stock Index grew 5.6% to close the month at 289.32, and the Process/Motion/Metrology Instrumentation Stock Index gained 3.4% to 301.56. However, the Laboratory Instrumentation Index slipped slightly, down 1.3% to 419.06, and the Filtration Stock Index took a hit, dropping 6.1% to 182.66. There was one change to the Laboratory Instrumentation Index: the removal of Proterion (see IBO 2/29/04).

Laboratory Instrumentation Stock Index

The Laboratory Instrumentation Stock Index had only 10 gainers during the month, 18 losers and one company that remained unchanged. The top three performers for March were Aclara Biosciences, Waters and Illumina, which experienced gains of 25%, 11% and 10%, respectively. Cell Robotics, Transgenomic and Cepheid lost the most ground this month, dropping 24%, 24% and 16%, respectively.

After first quarter of 2004, CombiMatrix has shown the most growth, gaining 79%, while Cell Robotics has fallen the furthest, down 42%. Overall, the Laboratory Instrumentation Stock Index remains up 8.5% for 2004.

During the month, Piper Jaffray downgraded shares of Affymetrix to a "Market Perform" rating. Wachovia Securities upgraded shares of Beckman Coulter to a rating of "Outperform." UBS Warburg upgraded Varian shares to a "Buy" rating, while Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of Luminex to an "Underperform" rating. In other news, Bio-Rad announced the purchase of the quality control assets of Hematronix on March 4, causing Bio-Rad's stock to rise 4.5% that day. Harvard Bioscience acquired KD Scientific (see IBO 3/15/04), sending Harvard's stock up 4.9% the following day. Molecular Devices announced an agreement to purchase Axon Instruments (see page 2). Molecular Devices' stock dropped 2.7% the following day. On the day Ciphergen's announced its purchase of the remaining 30% stake in its Japanese affiliate Ciphergen Biosystems KK, Ciphergen's stock dropped 2.0% In other news within the Laboratory Instrumentation Index, CombiMatrix began trading on the NASDAQ National Market system instead of the NASDAQ Small Cap Market, helping the stock gain 3.9% the following day. The settlement of Applied Biosystems and MDS' ongoing lawsuit with Waters Corp. (see IBO 3/15/04) had very little impact on Waters' stock price but sent Applied Biosystems' stock down 5.5%.

Process/Metrology/Motion Instrumentation Stock Index

Only three companies in the Process/Metrology/Motion Instrumentation Stock Index gained during March, while the remaining seven all experienced stock declines. InVision Technologies led the way this month, up a considerable 42%, while MTS Systems and X-Rite gained just 3% and 2%, respectively. INFICON Holding and Nanometrics experienced the greatest decline this month, dropping 19% and 14%, respectively.

For the year, rive companies are in the positive, four have declined slightly and one remains unchanged. InVision, MTS Systems and X-Rite have ail experienced a terrific first quarter, gaining 48%, 44% and 32%, respectively. Strategic Diagnostics is the only company in the Index to decline significantly thus far, dropping 16%. The Process/Metrology/ Motion Instrumentation Stock Index remains up 9.8% after the first quarter of the year.

During the month, JP Morgan initialed coverage on shares of Roper Industries at a rating of "Overweight," and Merriman Curhan Ford initiated coverage on shares of Veeco Instruments at a "Buy" rating. Piper Jaffray downgraded shares of InVision to a "Market Perform" rating on the same day General Electric announced it would acquire the company (see IBO 3/15/04). InVision's shares jumped 20% on the day of the announcement, helping the company's stock to gain 42% for the month.

Filtration Stock Index

The Filtration Stock Index dropped 6.1% in March, due to its largest contributor, Pall, which fell 3%. Millipore was the only other company in the Index to lose ground, falling 2%. The other two Index companies, CUNO and Ionics, experienced small monthly gains of 5% and 2%, respectively.

For the year, the Filtration Stock Index is the only negative performer of the four IBO indices, down 1.0%. Pall is the primary reason for the decline, as it has shed 15% thus far this year. Up 19%, Millipore remains the only positive performer in the Index for the first quarter.

Adams Harkness upgraded shares of Ionics to a "Strong Buy" rating and downgraded shares of Pall to a rating of "Market Perform." Pall's double-digit decline came because its earnings fell five cents below analysts' projections. Ionics announced a combination of three of its business traits to form a new Water Systems Division as a way to cut duplicate operations. The company's stock dropped 6.7% on the day of the restructuring announcement.

Laboratory Equipment/Distributor Stock Index

The Laboratory Equipment/Distributor Stock Index improved 5.6% during March as four of the five companies in the Index experienced gains. Misonix led the way in the month with impressive share price growth of 46%. New Brunswick, Apogent Technologies and Fisher Scientific all experienced gains as well, improving 19%, 9% and 3%, respectively. Kewaunee Scientific was the only company to show a decline in March, falling 5%.

For the year, all five companies in the Index remain in the positive, with four of the five experiencing growth over 20%. Kewaunee Scientific is the worst performer for the year thus far, improving just 2% from its December close. Overall, the Index leads the four IBO Indices by a considerable margin with first quarter growth of 33.1%.

Fisher Scientific and Apogent announced a merger agreement on St. Patrick's Day (see page 2), sending Apogent's shares up 4.2% and Fisher Scientific's shares up 1.1% on that day. Also on that day, the S&P Ratings Service upgraded Fisher's corporate credit rating to a "BB" with a positive outlook, while it lowered Apogent's corporate credit rating to "BBB-" with a negative outlook. The following day, UBS Warburg downgraded shares of Apogent to a "Neutral" rating. Misonix shares climbed 32.3% on the final day of March, after rising 49% earlier in the day, due to the launching of a high-intensity ultrasound to treat prostate cancer.

International Companies

All three Pacific Rim companies followed by IBO showed moderate improvement during March, with Horiba leading the way, up 13%. JEOL improved 11%, while Shimadzu gained 5%. After the first quarter of the year, all three Pacific Rim companies are hovering around 20% share price growth.

Just five of the 16 European companies in the table on page 5 reported gains in share price during the month, while 10 experienced declines and one remained unchanged. MWG Biotech AG was the only company to experience any serious gain, improving over 30% for the second straight month. Lion bioscience and Tecan experienced the largest declines in March, falling 34% and 28%, respectively.

After the first quarter of 2004, MWG Biotech and Genescan Europe are the two best European performers, up 114% and 94%, respectively. Lion bioscience is the worst performer, having dropped 48%. Overall, nine comparties are in the positive and seven in the negative after the first three months of 2004. MWG Biotech's tremendous performance during the first quarter was in large part due to the Weichselgartner family selling 30% of its total 33.1% share of the company, increasing the free float to 61.23%.

[GRAPHICS OMITTED]
 Market Value 52 Week Price
Company, Exchange (000s) Low High 3/31/2004

Laboratory Instrumentation
Aclara Biosciences: o $143,340 1.97 4.65 $4.00
Affymetrix: o $2,060,038 16.25 36.30 $33.77
Applied Biosystems: n $4,185,072 15.30 24.44 $19.78
Argonaut Tech: o $28,024 0.72 2.68 $1.38
Beckman Coulter: n $3,585,132 33.41 55.30 $54.54
Biacore: a $229,525 19.20 27.65 $23.50
Bio-RadLaboratories: a $1,488,450 35.35 65.00 $56.37
Bruker BioSciences: o $434,998 2.63 6.77 $5.01
Caliper Life Sciences: o $194,960 2.93 9.85 $6.90
Cell Robotics: o $3,797 0.11 0.45 $0.19
Cepheid: o $332,171 3.03 13.56 $9.31
Ciphergen: o $242,911 4.35 13.97 $8.40
CombiMatrix: o $156,719 1.71 9.30 $5.98
Dionex: o $1,160,148 31.75 56.30 $52.77
Harvard Bioscience: o $290,225 2.96 11.10 $9.27
Illumina: o $241,905 1.75 10.24 $7.50
Invitrogen: o $3,795,555 28.04 82.00 $71.69
Isco: o $71,335 6.76 13.00 $12.06
Luminex: o $273,681 4.47 13.43 $9.05
MOCON: o $43,056 6.80 9.00 $7.80
Molecular Devices: o $283,259 10.85 23.15 $18.84
O.I. Analytical: o $22,156 3.20 8.90 $7.92
PerkinElmer: n $2,653,720 8.75 22.08 $20.69
Qiagen: o $1,947,896 5.20 16.13 $13.15
Sequenom: o $113,463 1.62 4.50 $2.87
Thermo Electron: n $4,745,723 17.52 29.65 $28.28
Transgenomic: o $52,377 0.93 3.32 $1.96
Varian Inc.: o $1,432,382 28.05 46.50 $40.17
Waters Corporation: n $5,098,179 19.51 40.73 $40.84

Process/Metrology/Motion
Instrumentation
FEI: o $746,877 15.05 28.75 $21.85
INFICON Holding AG: o $20,460 4.00 11.21 $8.77
InVision Technologies: o $905,335 20.65 50.50 $49.67
MTS Systems. o $596,583 9.75 28.77 $27.77
Nanometrics: o $185,588 3.88 23.50 $15.31
Roper Industries: n $1,568,608 28.33 52.99 $48.25
Strategic Diagnostics: o $75,046 3.50 5.75 $3.95
Veeco Instruments: o $839,808 14.64 34.40 $28.06
X-Rite: o $310,255 8.25 15.24 $14.96
Zygo: o $86,889 5.65 21.53 $15.63

Filtration
CUNO: o $770,894 32.75 46.90 $44.78
Ionics: n $505,662 15.96 33.25 $28.40
Millipore n $2,538,994 29.90 55.27 $51.38
Pall: n $2,891,205 19.58 28.04 $22.69

Laboratory Equipment/
Distributors
Apogent Technologies: n $2,823,757 14.45 30.74 $30.68
Fisher Scientific: n $3,665,664 24.55 57.30 $55.04
Kewaunee Scientific: o $26,814 7.36 14.14 $10.73
Misonix: o $49,619 2.35 6.18 $7.37
New Brunswick: o $55,763 3.90 6.75 $6.40

Laboratory Instrumentation
 Stock Index $419.06

Process/Metrology/Mation
 Instrumentation 301.65

Filtration Stock Index 182.66

Laboratory Equipment
 Distributor Stock Index 289.32

Dow Jones Industrial Average 10357.70
S&P 500 1126.21
NASDAQ Composite 1994.22

 Change Change EPS EPS
Company, Exchange 1 Month YTD P/E 12 Month FY

Laboratory Instrumentation
Aclara Biosciences: o 25% 10% N/A -0.56 -0.5
Affymetrix: o -1% 37% 141 0.24 0.2
Applied Biosystems: n -13% -4% 19 1.06 0.8
Argonaut Tech: o -11% -22% N/A -0.40 -0.4
Beckman Coulter: n 4% 7% 17 3.21 3.2
Biacore: a -5% 3% 42 0.56 0.5
Bio-RadLaboratories: a 8% -2% 19 2.90 2.9
Bruker BioSciences: o -11% 10% N/A -0.22 -0.2
Caliper Life Sciences: o -7% 4% N/A -1.88 -1.8
Cell Robotics: o -24% -42% N/A -0.17 -0.1
Cepheid: o 16% -3% N/A -0.53 -0.5
Ciphergen: o -2% -27% N/A -1.31 -1.3
CombiMatrix: o -11% 79% N/A -0.76 -0.7
Dionex: o 0% 15% 33 1.59 1.4
Harvard Bioscience: o 7% 4% 66 0.14 0.1
Illumina: o 10% 6% N/A -0.85 -0.8
Invitrogen: o -3% 3% 61 1.17 1.1
Isco: o 12% 30% 24 0.51 0.2
Luminex: o -6% -4% N/A -0.14 -0.1
MOCON: o -3% -3% 20 0.40 0.4
Molecular Devices: o 1% -1% 37 0.51 0.5
O.I. Analytical: o -5% -9% 14 0.58 0.5
PerkinElmer: n -1% 21% 48 0.43 0.4
Qiagen: o -1% 10% 45 0.29 0.2
Sequenom: o -6% -10% N/A -0.93 -0.9
Thermo Electron: n 1% 12% 24 1.20 1.2
Transgenomic: o -24% -3% N/A -0.93 -0.9
Varian Inc.: o 1% -4% 28 1.42 1.4
Waters Corporation: n 11% 23% 30 1.34 1.3

Process/Metrology/Motion
Instrumentation
FEI: o -4% -3% 104 0.21 0.2
INFICON Holding AG: o -19% 1% N/A -4.06 -4.0
InVision Technologies: o 42% 48% 16 3.10 3.1
MTS Systems. o 3% 44% 26 0.95 0.9
Nanometrics: o -14% 4% N/A -1.45 -1.4
Roper Industries: n -1% -2% 34 1.41 1.4
Strategic Diagnostics: o -4% -16% N/A -0.04 -0.0
Veeco Instruments: o -4% 0% N/A -0.33 -0.3
X-Rite: o 2% 32% 55 0.27 0.2
Zygo: o -5% -5% N/A -0.03 -0.6

Filtration
CUNO: o 5% -1% 27 1.67 1.5
Ionics: n 2% -11% N/A -2.53 -2.5
Millipore n -2% 19% 25 2.06 2.0
Pall: n -13% -15% 20 1.16 0.8

Laboratory Equipment/
Distributors
Apogent Technologies: n 9% 33% N/A -0.08 -0.1
Fisher Scientific: n 3% 33% 43 1.29 1.2
Kewaunee Scientific: o -5% 2% 45 0.24 -0.1
Misonix: o 46% 66% 31 0.24 0.1
New Brunswick: o 19% 21% N/A -0.17 -0.1

Laboratory Instrumentation
 Stock Index -1.3% 8.5% 73

Process/Metrology/Mation
 Instrumentation 3.4% 9.8% 80

Filtration Stock Index -6.1% -1.0% 25

Laboratory Equipment
 Distributor Stock Index 5.6% 33.1% 30

Dow Jones Industrial Average -2.1% -0.5%
S&P 500 -1.6% 1.3%
NASDAQ Composite -1.8% -0.5%

 LTD/ FY R&D/
Company, Exchange Equity ROE Sales

Laboratory Instrumentation
Aclara Biosciences: o 1% N/A 1034%
Affymetrix: o 101% 9% 22%
Applied Biosystems: n 19% 14% 14%
Argonaut Tech: o N/A N/A 18%
Beckman Coulter: n 121% 23% 9%
Biacore: a 17% 7% 15%
Bio-RadLaboratories: a 52% 15% 9%
Bruker BioSciences: o 21% N/A 15%
Caliper Life Sciences: o 6% N/A 72%
Cell Robotics: o N/A N/A 72%
Cepheid: o 53% N/A 122%
Ciphergen: o 64% N/A 43%
CombiMatrix: o 95% N/A 1776%
Dionex: o 5% 20% 8%
Harvard Bioscience: o 14% 4% 7%
Illumina: o 92% N/A 80%
Invitrogen: o 68% 3% 7%
Isco: o 2% 3% 11%
Luminex: o 7% N/A 12%
MOCON: o 1% 13% 7%
Molecular Devices: o N/A 5% 16%
O.I. Analytical: o N/A 9% 11%
PerkinElmer: n 63% 4% 5%
Qiagen: o 36% 13% 9%
Sequenom: o 46% N/A 84%
Thermo Electron: n 14% 10% 7%
Transgenomic: o 7% N/A 27%
Varian Inc.: o 12% 11% 5%
Waters Corporation: n 29% 29% 6%

Process/Metrology/Motion
Instrumentation
FEI: o 85% 2% 14%
INFICON Holding AG: o 3% N/A 13%
InVision Technologies: o 44% 20% 6%
MTS Systems. o 22% 12% 5%
Nanometrics: o 3% N/A 39%
Roper Industries: n 106% 7% 5%
Strategic Diagnostics: o 3% N/A 10%
Veeco Instruments: o 76% N/A 17%
X-Rite: o 52% 8% 12%
Zygo: o 1% N/A 12%

Filtration
CUNO: o 8% 13% 5%
Ionics: n 14% N/A 2%
Millipore n 58% 22% 7%
Pall: n 64% 11% 3%

Laboratory Equipment/
Distributors
Apogent Technologies: n 171% N/A 2%
Fisher Scientific: n 284% 14% 0%
Kewaunee Scientific: o 17% N/A 0%
Misonix: o 9% 5% 6%
New Brunswick: o 24% N/A 7%

Laboratory Instrumentation
 Stock Index 57% 7% 10%

Process/Metrology/Mation
 Instrumentation 53% 3% 9%

Filtration Stock Index 45% 9% 4%

Laboratory Equipment
 Distributor Stock Index 204% N/A 1%

Dow Jones Industrial Average
S&P 500
NASDAQ Composite

 Price
Region Market Value Market Value
Company (US $000s) (Local 000s)

Pacific Rim Shares
Horiba: t $432,880 46,452,393 [yen]
JEOL: t $540,397 57,990,036 [yen]
Shimadzu: t $1,415,652 151,913,664 [yen]

European Shares
Genetix: l $8,329,444 4,497,900.00 [pounds
 sterling]
Oxford Instruments: l $21,115,889 11,402,580.00 [pounds
 sterling]
Renishaw: l $67,398,148 36,395,000.00 [pounds
 sterling]
Robotic Technology Systems: l $5,770,575 3,116,110.40 [pounds
 sterling]
Spectris: l $94,201,852 50,869,000.00 [pounds
 sterling]
Whatman: l $44,537,500 24,050,250.00 [pounds
 sterling]
Alpha M.O.S.: c $8,575 6,860.33 [euro]
nalytik Jena: g $34,506 27,604.50 [euro]
Chemunex: e $11,445 9,156.00 [euro]
Genescan Europe AG: g $16,150 12,920.00 [euro]
Lion Bioscience AG: g $43,714 34,971.20 [euro]
MWG Biotech AG: g $75,389 60,311.30 [euro]
Sartorious: g $279,194 223,355.00 [euro]
Amazys Holding AG: s $109,858 CHF 137,323
Tecan: s $434,135 CHF 542,669
Biotage AB: st $53,529 SEK 392,901

Region 3/31/2004 Change Change
Company (Local) 1 Month YTD

Pacific Rim Shares
Horiba: t 1487 [yen] 13% 24%
JEOL: t 895 [yen] 11% 20%
Shimadzu: t 513 [yen] 5% 16%

European Shares
Genetix: l 58.00 [pounds 5% 4%
 sterling]
Oxford Instruments: l 238.00 [pounds 6% 21%
 sterling]
Renishaw: l 500.00 [pounds -3% -9%
 sterling]
Robotic Technology Systems: l 51.00 [pounds -23% -24%
 sterling]
Spectris: l 455.00 [pounds -6% 6%
 sterling]
Whatman: l 189.00 [pounds 13% 22%
 sterling]
Alpha M.O.S.: c 2.62 [euro] -7% -3%
nalytik Jena: g 7.17 [euro] -2% 18%
Chemunex: e 0.30 [euro] -23% -29%
Genescan Europe AG: g 1.90 [euro] -4% 94%
Lion Bioscience AG: g 1.76 [euro] -34% -48%
MWG Biotech AG: g 2.03 [euro] 37% 114%
Sartorious: g 13.10 [euro] 4% 44%
Amazys Holding AG: s CHF 43.5 -1% 10%
Tecan: s CHF 47.9 -28% -20%
Biotage AB: st SEK 11.3 0% -4%

Region EPS
Company P/E 12 Month

Pacific Rim Shares
Horiba: t 49 30.5 [yen]
JEOL: t N/A (3.3 [yen])
Shimadzu: t 43 11.9 [yen]

European Shares
Genetix: l 126 0.5 [pounds
 sterling]
Oxford Instruments: l 88 2.7 [pounds
 sterling]
Renishaw: l 25 19.9 [pounds
 sterling]
Robotic Technology Systems: l N/A -52.8 [pounds
 sterling]
Spectris: l 14 32.1 [pounds
 sterling]
Whatman: l N/A -1.5 [pounds
 sterling]
Alpha M.O.S.: c 33 0.1 [euro]
nalytik Jena: g 20 0.4 [euro]
Chemunex: e N/A -0.2 [euro]
Genescan Europe AG: g N/A -3.4 [euro]
Lion Bioscience AG: g N/A -2.0 [euro]
MWG Biotech AG: g N/A -0.8 [euro]
Sartorious: g 119 0.1 [euro]
Amazys Holding AG: s 17 CHF 2.5
Tecan: s 40 CHF 1.2
Biotage AB: st N/A -SEK 6.0

Region EPS LTD/ FY R&D/
Company FY Equity ROE Sales

Pacific Rim Shares
Horiba: t 22.2 [yen] 46% 2% 5%
JEOL: t (-13.9 [yen]) 91% N/A 6%
Shimadzu: t 11.9 [yen] 101% 4% 3%

European Shares
Genetix: l 0.5 [pounds 1% 1% 11%
 sterling]
Oxford Instruments: l 2.6 [pounds 6% 1% 7%
 sterling]
Renishaw: l 19.7 [pounds 11% 14% 13%
 sterling]
Robotic Technology Systems: l -59.2 [pounds 10% N/A N/A
 sterling]
Spectris: l 32.1 [pounds 117% 13% 6%
 sterling]
Whatman: l -1.5 [pounds 33% N/A 3%
 sterling]
Alpha M.O.S.: c 0.1 [euro] N/A 4% N/A
nalytik Jena: g 0.1 [euro] 26% 2% 4%
Chemunex: e -0.2 [euro] -30% N/A 59%
Genescan Europe AG: g -2.6 [euro] 9% N/A 67%
Lion Bioscience AG: g -7.7 [euro] 48% N/A 115%
MWG Biotech AG: g -0.9 [euro] 17% N/A 17%
Sartorious: g 0.2 [euro] 142% 3% 5%
Amazys Holding AG: s CHF 1.9 4% 11% 13%
Tecan: s CHF 1.2 10% 13% 17%
Biotage AB: st -SEK 6.0 5% N/A 48%

The IBO composite stock indices are weighted by market capitalization.
Index averages for the various financial ratios presented are also
weighted statistically to reflect the relative sizes of the constituent
companies. Lab Instrumentation Index: 12/31/91=100; Process/Metrology/
Motion Instrumentation, Filtration and Lab Equipment/Distributors
Indices: 12/31/93=100. Nonrecurring charges excluded from composite P/E
ratios. Exchanges: n=NYSE; a=AMEX; o=NASDAQ; t=Tokyo; l=London;
s=Switzerland; g=Germany; st=Sweden; e=EASDAQ; c=Continuous Market.
dd: Indicates loss in the most recent four quarters; cc: P/E ratio is
100 or more; N/A p not applicable; N/A : data not available at press
time. Return on equity calculated using most recent year-end data.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Strategic Directions International Inc. (SDI)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Investors Buy-Out
Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 31, 2004
Words:3756
Previous Article:Miniaturization catches on.
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