Both Applied Biosystems Group and Celera Genomics Group have provided strong top line growth over the past five years, with ABI's numbers driven primarily by DNA instrument analyzer sales and CRA's coming mostly through subscriptions to its genomics database.

However, sales of ABI's big ticket analyzers have come under pressure as capital spending tightens at big pharma and other life sciences companies, driving the stock down 68% so far this year. At the same time, CRA increasingly is positioning itself to migrate from data warehousing into the drug discovery space (see BioCentury, July 23 & June 18).