|DISCOVERING THE MOLECULAR STUCTURE FOR MANAGED
|If a successful business could distill and
measure the essence of intelligent growth and
expansion, what would the result look like? It should come as no surprise that, at Waters, were
trying to do just that. After all, were experts in helping companies break down matter to its most
primary level. So as you might imagine, we take a relatively scientific approach to our business.
While we invest in many technologies and technology extensions, we employ a disciplined decision- making process based equally on very sound business and scientific principles. For example, we will not invest in a technology, no matter how brilliant, if we cannot identify clear and compelling
commercial applications and if we are not convinced the technology has an extremely good chance
of contributing significantly to our bottom line. Likewise, we will not enter a marketplace, no matter how promising, without technology that we believe is superior and will remain so.
Our philosophy has served both us and our shareholders well this past year. And over the past four decades, it is this kind of thinking that has helped make Waters one of the most respected
names in our industry. Respected by our customers, our employees and, yes, even our competitors.
In 1996 1997,
we made a number of important strategic decisions that have helped us expand our product
offerings and the markets where we have a major presence. These are the first careful steps to help
us grow beyond our traditional High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) technologies.
And while our roots are clearly still in HPLC, we are becoming more diverse, playing in a
much larger marketplace. By adding mass spectrometry and thermal analysis to our core
strength in HPLC, we can offer more comprehensive solutions to analytical laboratories
In 1997, the market for liquid
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