Waters (NYSE:WAT) was incorporated in 1994 to acquire the Waters Chromatography Division of Millipore (MIL) and completed an initial public offering in 1995. In May 1996, Waters completed the acquisition of TA Instruments, which expanded the company’s capabilities from liquid chromatography to include instruments used to analyze the impact of temperature on materials.
In September 1997, Waters further extended its scientific instruments capabilities to include mass spectrometry with the purchase of MicroMass Limited. The combination of these three units is considered to be the current core business of WAT.
Since the acquisition of MicroMass, Waters has completed several smaller acquisitions, with the most important being the rheology product line of Rheometric Scientific in January 2003. Rheometers measure the response of materials to strain, which is complementary to the company’s Thermal Analysis product line. In both instances, the tested materials and customers are similar.
At this year’s ASMS conference, WAT introduced the Synapt HDMS, the first commercially available mass spectrometer that features ion mobility technology. The new HDMS from Waters has the capability to differentiate ions, not only by their mass, but also by their size and shape. Conventional mass spectrometers are primarily used for molecular mass determination and quantitation. The additional information from the HDMS should provide researchers with increased knowledge about samples (i.e. improved specificity and sample definition), including the detection of previously unseen constituents.
WAT 1-yr chart