Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) designs, manufactures, sells, and services analytical instruments involved in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), mass spectrometry, thermal analysis, rheometry, and calorimetry. Got that? Waters’ clients include pharmaceutical, life science, biochemical, and industrial companies as well as academic institutions and government agencies. Instruments produced by Waters are used in processes such as identification of new pharmaceutical drugs, food safety analysis, and environmental and water testing.
Waters is the world’s largest manufacturer of HPLC instruments, chromatography columns, and related consumables and is one of top three players in mass spectrometry. Waters holds the largest analytical instrument market share in the U.S., Europe, and non-Japan Asia and has a strong position in Japan.
Two-thirds of Waters’ sales are overseas. A tremendous growth opportunity for Waters lies in quality evaluation and regulated export applications, for example soft drink testing in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea. With much-publicized food safety issues arising in Asia, Waters is well positioned to address this urgent need. A potentially significant growth factor for Waters is the food and drug safety bill under discussion in the U.S. Congress. This legislation, likely to be passed in 2009, would increase manufacturing and testing standards for all food and drugs imported into the U.S.
Waters’ products are designed to improve both environmental and human safety, as they are primarily used to detect toxins in food and water, or to develop new drugs. Waters has a publicly disclosed environmental health and safety policy, although the company could significantly improve their sustainability reporting and transparency
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