WESTBROOK

Idexx reports earnings growth but cuts outlook

Idexx Laboratories, which makes diagnostic products for veterinarians and tests for livestock and poultry, said Tuesday its first-quarter earnings rose 12 percent, but its results fell short of expectations and it cut its full-year growth outlook.

Earnings for the first quarter of 2013 totaled 81 cents a share, up from 72 cents a share in the same period a year ago. Revenues rose 3 percent, to $332.1 million. That was below Wall Street’s expectation of about $341 million.

The company said revenues in its pet group rose to $276.9 million, from $268.1 million. It attributed the growth to higher sales of consumable products used with its Catalyst Dx chemistry instrument and an increase in prices in its reference laboratories. The growth was partly offset by lower revenues from its capital equipment segment.

Revenues from its water-testing products totaled $20.7 million, up from $19.6 million, driven by higher sales of Colilert in Europe and Latin America. Colilert detects coliforms and E. coli in water in 24 hours. Livestock and poultry diagnostics revenues fell to $28 million, from $29.1 million a year ago. Idexx attributed the drop to lower sales of its Dairy SNAP tests for the detection of contaminant and antibiotic residues in milk.

For all of 2013, the company cut its growth outlook. It now expects revenues to be in the range of $1.38 billion to $1.39 billion. Earnings are expected to be in the range of $3.40 to $3.46 a share, compared with previous guidance of $3.47 to $3.57 a share.

AUGUSTA

LePage signs deal with Quebec for job growth

Gov. Paul LePage signed a memorandum of agreement with Quebec’s premier to encourage economic development and support job creation.

LePage and Premier Pauline Marois signed the memorandum of understanding Monday. The premier invited LePage to Montreal to sign the agreement, which she described as an important collaboration.

LePage said the agreement encourages Maine and Quebec to work together to create jobs and cooperate in areas of energy, natural resources, transportation, border security and culture. LePage said Marois seemed pleased to converse with him in French, the governor’s native language, and to talk about their shared French-Canadian heritage.

A Quebec-Maine Joint Committee will be responsible for implementing the agreement. LePage also spoke to 150 business leaders at a lunch conference.

- From staff and news services