Thermo Fisher Scientific preps the laboratory for research, analysis, discovery, or diagnostics. The company makes and distributes analytical instruments, scientific equipment, and other laboratory supplies. Products range from chromatographs and spectrometers to Erlenmeyer flasks and fume hoods to gene-sequencers. Increasingly, it offers testing and manufacturing of drugs, including biologicals. Thermo Fisher also provides specialty diagnostic testing products, as well as clinical analytical tools. The company tallies more than 400,000 customers worldwide. Its key markets are pharmaceutical and biotech, diagnostics and health care, academic and government, and industrial and applied research.


Thermo Fisher's Laboratory Product and Services unit, which provides just about everything needed to run a lab, generates more than 35% of its sales. Life Sciences Solutions, which accounts for about a quarter of revenue, provides reagents, instruments, and consumables used in biological and medical research, and drug discovery and production. Analytical Instruments, which supplies instruments, consumables, software, and services, and Specialty Diagnostics, which offers diagnostic test kits, reagents, culture media, instruments, each account for less than 20% of revenue.

Geographic Reach

Half of Thermo Fisher's revenue comes from its US customers. China is the second biggest single-country market, accounting for 10% of revenue. Other key countries for Thermo Fisher are Japan, the UK, and Germany.

The company operates manufacturing, research and development, administrative, and logistics facilities in about 50 countries outside the US.

Sales and Marketing

Thermo Fisher's sales channels include direct sales, electronic commerce, distributors, and catalogs. Its sales staff numbers about 11,000. The company also offers supply chain management services to customers.

Financial Performance

Thermo Fisher's revenue has risen for seven straight years and profit has increased for five years in a row.

Sales rose 8% to about $18.3 billion in 2016 from just under $17 billion in 2015. Contributions from acquired companies accounted for more than half of the increase. Organic revenue rose from increased demand from pharmaceutical and biotech customers. The Life Sciences Solutions business posted the company's strongest growth in 2015, rising 12% (up about $540 million). Most of the unit's growth came from increased demand for biosciences products and bioprocess products as well as next-generation sequencing tools. Sales in Asia, paced by an increase of about 25% in China, led the company's geographic regions. The strength of the US dollar in relation to other currencies lopped off about $145 million from revenue in 2016.

Thermo Fisher's net income inched up 2% to about $2 billion in 2016. The company had higher costs related to acquisitions and restructuring than it did in 2015. Those costs included about $164 million to eliminate redundancies resulting from acquisitions that included severance pay and costs associated with closing facilities.

Cash flow from operating activities was about $3.2 billion for 2016, up from $2.8 billion in 2015. The increase was from lower investments in working capital and higher income before amortization and depreciation.


Thermo Fisher has been an deal-making machine, spending more than $12 billion on acquisitions in 2016 and 2017. The company has expanded beyond supplying research labs with standard items like graduated cylinders and Bunsen burners to much more sophisticated equipment such as gene-sequencing and gene-editing tools. It also has added drug testing, including running clinical trials, and drug manufacturing to its portfolio. Thermo Fisher has become something of a one-stop shop for pharmaceutical companies that concentrate on developing drugs but outsource their production.

Besides the 2017 proposed acquisition of Patheon NV, Thermo Fisher bought Affymetrix and FEI, both in 2016, in multi-billion deals. The company also had made several smaller deals.

Thermo Fisher hasn't let its M&A department carry the entire load for stocking the product pipeline. The company has kept its research and development cycle going, investing more than $750 million in 2016, up from about $690 million in 2015.

The company in 2016 offered new versions of products like its flagship Orbitrap platform, which helps customers in drug discovery and food safety, forensics, and environmental testing. It released the Scientific Integrion HPIC system for ion chromatography as well as the latest generation of its Ion Torrent sequencing instruments. Two of the company's CRISPR genome editing tools were recognized as Top 10 innovative products for 2016.

Besides tools to conduct research, Thermo Fisher offers its cloud computing platform for storing results. The platform supports the company's gene sequencing and proteomics systems.

Thermo Fisher has its sights set on expanding international sales, particularly in China. Sales in China grew more than 25% in 2016 to account for 10% of the company's revenue. Overall, about 20% of the company's 2016 revenue came from emerging markets, which included stronger sales in India and South Korea. Thermo Fisher has built customer momentum in Asia with new facilities. It opened a BioPharma Services facility in South Korea to help meet increasing demand for clinical trials and a bioproduction development lab at its China Innovation Center in Shanghai.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017 Thermo Fisher offered about $7.2 billion to acquire Patheon NV, which offers a range of services from regulatory consulting to making drug ingredients and finished medicines including biological therapies. Patheon had about $1.9 billion in revenue in 2016. The deal is expected to close in 2017.

In two major deals in 2016 Thermo Fisher bought FEI and Affymetrix. FEI, acquired for $4.2 billion, added a complementary product mix of electron microscopes to Thermo Fisher's mass spectrometry products. The $1.3 billion deal for Affymetrix brought instruments used to analyze specimens at the cellular and genetic levels to the Thermo Fisher portfolio.

Other 2017 deals included Finesse Solutions Inc., a developer of scalable control automation systems and software for bioproduction, and Core Informatics, a provider of a cloud-based platform for scientific data management.

While it was transacted in 2014, the purchase of Life Technologies for more than $15 billion was major for Thermo Fisher. The deal moved the company to the head of the pack in life sciences tools, particularly the growing field of genetic testing.

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12076 Santa Fe Trail Dr
Lenexa, KS 66215-3594
Phone: 1 (800) 255-6730
Fax: 1 (913) 888-5884


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Manager: Tim C Crippen
  • Director SEC: Seth H Hoogasian
  • Manager: Alan Vangoethem
  • Employees: 4,900

Major Office Locations

  • Lenexa, KS
  • Shawnee Mission, KS

Other Locations

  • Manchester, CT
  • Norcross, GA
  • Muskego, WI