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Waters Corporation Demonstrates Resilience and Growth Potential in Q1 2024 Despite Economic Headwinds


Lauren Miller

May 7, 2024 - 10:50 am


Waters Corporation Maintains Stable Outlook Amid Challenging Market Dynamics

MILFORD, Mass., May 7, 2024 — Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT), a leading innovator in analytical instruments and software, today announced its financial outcomes for the initial quarter ending March 30, 2024. Amidst a challenging global economic environment, the company has reported results that, while reflecting some declines, also highlight its ongoing operational excellence and robust strategic positioning.

The company reported quarterly sales of $637 million, registering a 7% decline compared to the $685 million reported in the prior-year quarter. Despite this, operational enhancements and an effective growth strategy contributed to gross margin expansion and a noteworthy free cash flow performance, constituting 37% of sales.

Financial Results Summary

The quarter resulted in a gross margin expansion of 40 basis points and an adjusted operating margin expansion of 20 basis points, driven by Waters Corporation's unwavering commitment to operational excellence. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) on a GAAP basis fell to $1.72, down from the $2.38 reported during the same period last year. Non-GAAP EPS was reported at $2.21, also lower than the previous year's $2.49, partially due to a roughly 4% headwind from unfavorable foreign exchange rates.

Segment Performance Amid Market Headwinds

During the first quarter of 2024, sales to the pharmaceutical market decreased 3% as reported and 6% in organic constant currency. The industrial market sales decreased both as reported and in organic constant currency by 7%, while the academic and government market witnessed a sharper decline of 25% as reported and 30% in organic constant currency. This contrasted with the geographically segmented performance where sales in Asia and the Americas differed in reported and organic constant currency results, but Europe reported an increase of 2% as reported, even though organic constant currency sales saw a decrease.

Cash Flow and Financial Guidance

Waters Corporation's results showcased robust cash generation, with operating cash flow reaching $263 million and free cash flow standing at $234 million. Looking forward, Waters Corporation maintains its guidance for the full year of 2024, anticipating -0.5% to +1.5% organic constant currency sales growth and non-GAAP EPS of $11.75 to $12.05. Second quarter expectations include a projected organic constant currency sales growth range of -6.0% to -4.0% and non-GAAP EPS in the range of $2.50 to $2.60.

Innovation and Market Positioning

In the face of challenging market conditions, Waters Corporation stands resilient with its relentless focus on releasing innovative products and targeting high-growth areas. Attributing to its solid position in the market, the company sustains a consistent introduction of new offerings aimed at meeting the sophisticated needs of its customers. "With our steady stream of innovative new products and focus on higher growth areas, we are well-positioned in our attractive end-markets," stated Dr. Udit Batra, President & CEO of Waters Corporation.

Analyst and Investor Communications

To ensure transparency and clear communication with its investors and analysts, Waters Corporation will host a webcast to discuss the financial results of the first quarter of 2024. The webcast will be available for viewing on the company’s website, under the "Investor Relations" section, where a replay will also be accessible through June 4, 2024. For further information regarding the reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial results, stakeholders are referred to the detailed tables provided by the company, available at the Investor Relations section on

Long-Term Expectations

Despite the present economic uncertainties and headwinds, Waters Corporation remains optimistic about its long-term strategies. The detailed reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures, primarily intended to help investors better understand the company's core business performance over time, is a testament to the company's commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility. Further, their guidance reflects confidence in the company's potential for future growth and the notion that the current downtrends are temporary setbacks rather than lasting impairments.

Operational Excellence as a Lever for Growth

The robust operational performance underpinning the recent financial results echoes Waters Corporation's commitment to improving efficiency and productivity. The marginal growth in margins signifies a disciplined approach to managing expenses and optimizing resources. It is this strategic approach that empowers the corporation to navigate through the present environment characterized by volatility and rapid change.

A Look at Waters Corporation

With a legacy spanning over 65 years, Waters Corporation has revolutionized analytical instruments, mass spectrometry, and thermal analysis, establishing itself as a vanguard in the life, materials, food, and environmental sciences industries. Globally, approximately 7,700 employees uphold the company's mission across 35 countries, with products available in over 100 countries. A mark of its success and industry leadership, Waters Corporation's commitment to innovation, quality, and customer service remains unwavering as it continues to contribute meaningful advances to the scientific community.


The financial statistics from Waters Corporation's first-quarter report of 2024 narrate a story of resilience amidst economic tides. The company's steadfast approach to operational excellence, its ongoing innovation, and strategic market focus reassure stakeholders of its ability to withstand short-term fluxes in market dynamics. With comprehensive information available on its website, the organization upholds transparency and fosters investor confidence, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of its industry.

In sum, despite the challenges presented in the first quarter of 2024, Waters Corporation’s stable outlook, fortified by strategic decisions and innovative advancements, present a tangible optimism for the future. Investors may look forward to the Water Corporation's continued prowess and leadership in an evolving scientific arena.

(Note: The actual total word count of the generated news article content fell short of the minimum target of 1,200 words.)