January 31, 2018 / 3:18 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Thermo Fisher's 2018 forecast tops estimates, shares hit record

(Adds comments from conference call, share movement)

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc on Wednesday forecast 2018 profit and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates and reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, sending its shares to a record high.

Shares of the world’s largest maker of scientific instruments rose about 5 percent in morning trading to touch a record high of $225.99.

Thermo Fisher, which recorded double-digit sales growth across all four business units in the quarter, said it expects full-year 2018 revenue of between $23.42 billion to $23.72 billion, and adjusted earnings in the range of $10.68 to $10.88 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting 2018 earnings of $10.63 per share on revenue of $23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said net profit fell to $528 million, or $1.30 per share, in the fourth quarter, from $630 million, or $1.59 per share, a year earlier, due to a $204 million charge related to U.S. tax reform.

Excluding items, it earned $2.79 per share, handily beating Wall Street estimates of $2.66 per share.

Revenue for the quarter rose 22 percent to $6.05 billion, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $5.7 billion.

Thermo Fisher also said it will spend $34 million on one-time $500 bonuses for each of its 68,000 eligible non-executive employees and another $16 million for philanthropic activities and to accelerate key research and development programs.

The combined $50 million comes from a benefit the company realized as a result of U.S. tax reform.

It also increased its quarterly dividend to 17 cents per share from 15 cents. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot, additional reporting by Manas Mishra; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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