Thermo Fisher 4Q profit falls 5 percent on charges

Thermo Fisher Scientific said Wednesday that its profit fell 5 percent in the fourth quarter due to a spate of charges related to cost cuts the company says are needed for long-term growth.

The scientific instrument maker’s products can be very expensive and thus, items that some of its customers have put off during the recession.

There are some signs that spending has begun to pick up, and CEO Marc Casper said “prudent cost-cutting” and expansion in Asia will help the company going forward.

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Thermo Fisher’s profit for the quarter was $273.3 million, or 65 cents per share, down from $287 million, or 67 cents per share a year ago. The results included higher amortization costs, restructuring expenses, and charges from early retirement of debt. Excluding those and other items, Thermo Fisher said it earned 91 cents per share. Revenue grew 7 percent, to $2.84 billion from $2.65 billion. [Read the full article]

“I would really be delighted if you considered me in light of the fact that I represent so many single women with no pension but a few assets and no debt who are just closing in on retirement.”

So ended an e-mail I received from Emily Booth (not her real name), who wrote me requesting a portfolio makeover last summer. At 64, she is looking back in satisfaction on her successful career in real estate. But she’s also thinking about the next phase in her life–retirement–and whether her portfolio will afford her the financial stability she’s seeking. With the real estate market in the doldrums during the past few years, Emily’s income has slowed to a trickle, and she’s considering retiring within the next few months.

Before she does, however, she knows that she needs to reposition her investment portfolio. With more than 60% of her assets in cash, she’s rightfully concerned about her portfolio’s limited upside potential. [Read the full article]

Financial planners can advise, books can inform, worksheets can approximate. But they’ll never replace the advice you can get from folks who have ventured before you into that great unknown: retirement. To help you avoid dead ends and pitfalls, we asked retirees to look back over their time outside the working world and talk about their smartest financial moves, biggest surprises, and worst mistakes.

It was skiing, not snoozing, that Tim Fehr imagined when he thought about retirement. When the Boeing (NYSE:BA – News) engineering executive retired in 2001, at age 60, he and his wife, Jackie, knew they wanted to live in a ski community. Every Christmas for more than 10 years the family had vacationed at ski resorts. Soon after he retired they settled on Park City for its many slopes, lively town, and nearby international airport. The Fehrs consider that move one of their smartest. [Read the full article]

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