Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019. Fourth-quarter 2019 net sales were USD 624.4 million, an increase of 1.2 percent compared to USD 616.8 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2018. On a currency-neutral basis, quarterly sales increased 2.3 percent compared to the same period in 2018. Fourth-quarter gross margin was 52.9 percent compared to 53.9 percent during the fourth quarter in 2018. Life Science segment net sales for the fourth quarter were USD 242.0 million, an increase of 1.0 percent compared to the same period in 2018. On a currency-neutral basis, Life Science segment sales increased by 1.8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2018.
Currency-neutral sales growth was primarily driven by growth of Process Media, Droplet Digital PCR and Food Safety products. On a geographic view, the sales increase was due to growth in North America and Europe.
Clinical Diagnostics segment net sales for the fourth quarter were USD 379.0 million, an increase of 1.6 percent compared to the same period in 2018. On a currency-neutral basis, net sales were up 2.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Currency-neutral sales were primarily attributed to diabetes, quality controls, autoimmune, and blood typing products. Sales increase during the fourth quarter of 2019 was the result of growth in Asia and the Americas.
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2019 was USD 553.5 million, or USD 18.31 per share on a diluted basis, compared to a net loss of (USD 828.5) million, or (USD 27.73) per share on a diluted basis, during the same period in 2018. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2019 was significantly and favorably impacted by the recognition on the income statement of changes in the fair market value of equity securities reflecting an increase in value of USD 646.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2019, primarily related to our holdings of Sartorius AG.
The effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 20.9 percent, compared to 20.4 percent for the same period in 2018.
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Aside from the impact of the cyberattack on our network in December, sales performance for the fourth quarter reflected continued momentum of many of our key life science and diagnostic product lines. Looking back at the year, we are encouraged by our overall performance, in particular, our core operating results that provide us with good momentum toward continued topline growth and reaching our long-term goals as we head into 2020.”