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Danaher Slides After Second Cut in 2012 Profit Forecast

Danaher Corp. fell the most in almost a year after cutting its profit forecast for a second time amid lower demand for automation and testing equipment.

The shares slid 4.7 percent to $53.45 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Oct. 31. They previously gained 19 percent this year, outpacing a 16 percent increase by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The company, based in Washington, reduced its 2012 earnings per share target to $3.14 to $3.19 from a July projection of $3.19 to $3.26.

“Clearly the macroeconomic headlines are having an impact on our growth,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp said on a conference call today with analysts. “The operating environment is likely to remain challenging going forward.”

Culp said today he increased a cost-restructuring goal to $120 million from $100 million to resist pressure from the slower economy. Danaher has announced acquisitions of about $1.5 billion since the beginning of the year to supplement sales.

Third-quarter profit rose 4.8 percent to $548.7 million, or 77 cents a share, from $523.4 million, or 74 cents, a year earlier, according to a company statement. That trailed the average estimate of 79 cents from analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

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