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PerkinElmer, Inc. (PKI - Analyst Report) announced that it has made available the early onset preeclampsia serum screening test, PreeclampsiaScreen T1, in the U.S. The test would be useful in preventing preeclampsia, a disease characterized by high blood pressure and high amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman, leading to delivery of the fetus prior to 34 weeks’ gestation.

Preeclampsia is a life threatening medical condition that affects 0.5% of all pregnancies, endangering the life of both the pregnant mother and the baby. It is a major contributor to maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

PreeclampsiaScreen test detects three biochemical markers in the mother’s blood: PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A); PlGF (placental growth factor) and AFP (alpha fetoprotein) through a blood test in the first three months of pregnancy.

The test, evaluated collectively with personal demographic data, provides an individual risk profile of developing early onset preeclampsia in patients. Additionally, the sensitivity of the test can be improved if physicians opt for two more biophysical measurements for their patients, including arterial pressure (MAP) and uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index (UtAD-PI).

Although some inexpensive medical treatments are available in the form of low-dose aspirin for reducing the risk of preeclampsia, they are effective only if begun early in the pregnancy. As a result, the need for a first trimester screening is very essential for the prevention of the disease. On early detection, increased monitoring, modified activity, bed rest and medication can help prevent the early onset preeclampsia.

For a long time, PerkinElmer is dedicated to offering products and systems for prenatal clinical problems. Apart from the latest offerings, PKI has offered non-invasive prenatal test based on cell-free fetal DNA, and biochemical screening and SNP microarray testing to detect birth defects and chromosome abnormalities.

In the second quarter of the year, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 51 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents. However, the top line lagged the year-ago earnings of 53 cents by nearly 4%. Reported EPS fell 17.2% to 24 cents from 29 cents a year ago, mainly due to a significant rise in restructuring and contract termination charges.

Revenues in the quarter rose 4.1% to $543.3 million, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $534 million. The increase was driven by improvements in PKI’s both operating segments.

PerkinElmer expects organic revenues to increase in the low-single digit range in the year compared with 2012. PKI also expects reported earnings per share in the range of $1.40 to $1.47 and adjusted earnings per share between $2.03 and $2.10 compared with the prior guidance of $2.00 to $2.10.

PerkinElmer, Inc. is a global technology company, which provides products and systems to the telecom, medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, semiconductor and photographic markets. PKI has operations in over 100 countries, and is a component of the S&P 500 Index.

Currently, other stocks that are also performing well in the medical products industry include Alere Inc. (ALR - Snapshot Report) and PLC Systems Inc. (PLCSF), both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. (LMAT - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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