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Biotech / Medical : TECHNE (Tech): "selling picks to gold miners"
TECH 77.81+3.1%3:59 PM EDT

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From: mopgcw10/27/2006 3:57:54 AM
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Techne Corporation Releases Unaudited First Quarter Results for Fiscal Year 2007
7:00 AM EDT October 25, 2006
Techne Corporation's (Nasdaq: TECH) consolidated net earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 increased 15.5% to $19.6 million and its earnings per diluted share increased 16.3% to $0.50 compared with $17.0 million and $.43 per diluted share for the quarter ended September 30, 2005. The improvement in results was mainly due to increased consolidated net sales and improved gross margin percentages.

Consolidated net sales for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 were $52.4 million, an increase of 9.7% from the quarter ended September 30, 2005. Biotechnology net sales for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 were $35.9 million, an increase of 11.2% from the quarter ended September 30, 2005. Approximately $700,000 of the increase in biotechnology net sales for the quarter was the result of price increases. R&D Europe's net sales for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 were $12.9 million, an increase of 8.9% from the first quarter of the prior year. In British pound sterling, R&D Europe's net sales increased 2.7% from the same quarter of the prior year. Hematology net sales for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 were $3.5 million, a decrease of 0.9% as compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2005.

Consolidated gross margins were 78.5% for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 compared to 76.7% for the quarter ended September 30, 2005. Biotechnology gross margins were 79.6% for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 compared to 77.5% for the quarter ended September 30, 2005, mainly as a result of changes in product mix. Biotechnology gross margins were also affected by purchase accounting related to inventory on hand at the acquisition date of Fortron and BiosPacific in fiscal 2006. Included in cost of sales for the quarters ended September 30, 2006 and 2005 were $291,000 and $575,000, respectively, related to inventory purchase accounting.

Consolidated net earnings and diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 were impacted slightly by the change in exchange rates from the quarter ended September 30, 2006, used to convert R&D Europe results from British pound sterling to U.S. dollars. The change in exchange rates increased consolidated net earnings approximately $206,000 for the quarter ended September 30, 2006.

In September 2006, the Company invested $7.2 million for an 18% equity interest in Nephromics, LLC. Nephromics has licensed technology related to the diagnosis of preeclampsia and has sub-licensed the technology to several major diagnostic companies for the development of diagnostic assays.

The Company is currently considering paying off its $13.1 million mortgage debt during the quarter ended December 31, 2006. The interest rate on the mortgage is at a floating rate, which is currently at 7.8%. Interest expense for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 was $268,000. The mortgage note has a 5% prepayment penalty. The Company estimates that prepayment of the mortgage would result in a reduction in diluted earnings per share of approximately $.01 in the quarter of payment.
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