Here's a press release from Thermo, quoted in the AP. Note the last paragraph where no mention is made of Thermo's automation competition, just the lab folks. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. on Wednesday reported its fourth-quarter profit soared, a result that was boosted by a November 2006 acquisition that more than doubled the size of the maker of scientific instruments and laboratory supplies. Thermo Fisher Scientific's profit and revenue performances both beat Wall Street expectations, and the company offered financial guidance for 2008 that is above analysts' forecast. The Waltham-based company said its net income for the October-December period was $239.8 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with $25.3 million, or 8 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago, when the company's profit was hurt by a $125 million charge tied to the company's $10.6 billion acquisition of Hampton, N.H.-based Fisher Scientific in 2006. The acquisition helped boost revenue 57 percent to $2.62 billion from $1.67 billion, beating the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who expected revenue of $2.51 billion. Had the former Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific been combined for the entire fourth quarter of 2006, the revenue gain was a more modest 12 percent. On that basis, and excluding one-time expenses and gains in both comparison quarters, Thermo Fisher Scientific's profit in the latest quarter grew to 76 cents per share, up from 57 cents per share in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson expected earnings excluding items of 69 cents per share, on average. Revenue in the company's biggest business segment, laboratory products and services, grew 10 percent in the latest quarter to $1.55 billion, while revenue in the smaller analytical technologies segment rose 14 percent to $1.17 billion. The company said it expects 2008 earnings of $3.05 to $3.15 per share excluding one-time expenses and gains, above analysts' forecast for $3.04 per share. The company expects full-year revenue of $10.5 to $10.6 billion, exceeding analysts' expectations for $10.34 billion. For the full year, the company earned $761 million, or $1.72 a share, up from $168.9 million, or 84 cents a share. Revenue rose to $9.75 billion from $3.79 billion. The 11,000-employee Thermo Electron acquired Fisher Scientific, which had 19,500 workers. The company's customers include pharmaceutical companies, government research labs, hospitals and universities. Products are branded under the names Fisher Scientific and Thermo Scientific, competing against rivals such as Agilent Technologies Inc., Beckman Coulter Inc. and Becton, Dickinson & Co.