Indexx Laboratories posts higher earnings, touts growth

Idexx Laboratories, which provides diagnostic tests for livestock and poultry, as well as tests for water and milk safety, posted higher fourth-quarter earnings per share and reiterated its 2014 revenue-growth outlook.

Westbrook-based Idexx said its fourth-quarter net income totaled $43.2 million, or 82 cents a share, compared with $43.4 million, or 78 cents a share, a year ago. Fourth-quarter revenue rose more than 10 percent to $354.1 million from $319.5 million a year ago.

“I am very pleased with the strong organic growth we achieved in the quarter, reflecting solid gains across our business,” said Idexx Chairman and Chief Executive Jonathan Ayers. For the full-year 2014, revenues are expected to be in the range of $1.48 billion to $1.50 billion, compared with full-year 2013 revenue of $1.38 billion.

Earnings per share for the full year are expected to be in the range of $3.76 to $3.86, up from 2013 full-year earnings of $3.48 per share.

Shares of Idexx were up $6.01, or 5.5 percent, to $115.10 in trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq.

Bath Iron Works to christen new destroyer on April 12

The first of a new class of destroyers will be christened at Bath Iron Works on April 12 after its original christening date was postponed by the U.S. government shutdown.

The destroyer, to be known as the USS Zumwalt, is a nearly $4 billion stealth destroyer. It’s the first of three DDG-1000 destroyers being made at Bath Iron Works and the largest ever built for the U.S. Navy.

The 610-foot destroyer features a wave-piercing hull, composite deckhouse, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar, missiles and powerful guns that fire rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles.

The original christening date had been set for Oct. 19.

The destroyer is due to be delivered to the Navy in late 2014.

Unum Group posts lower fourth-quarter profits

Insurance provider Unum Group posted lower fourth- quarter profits in part because of increased reserves set aside for death benefits.

The company said fourth-quarter net income totaled $221.2 million, or 84 cents a share, down from $233.9 million, or 85 cents a share, a year ago. Total quarterly revenue fell to $2.59 billion from $2.66 billion a year ago.

Still, the company’s after-tax operating income, which many investors consider the true gauge of an insurance company’s health, rose. For the fourth quarter, after-tax operating income was 85 cents a share, compared with 82 cents a share a year ago.

Unum, which is based in Tennessee but has a large corporate presence in Portland, said it expects growth in after-tax operating earnings per share for the full-year 2014 to be in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent.