Companies‎ > ‎US Research‎ > ‎

Danaher (NYSE: DHR) | Company Profile, History, Competitors


Danaher (NYSE: DHR) provides diagnostic tools in healthcare, environmental testing, and manufacturing markets. The company was founded in 1969 and headquartered in Washington, DC. The company spun off its industrials business, Fortive, in 2016 in order to focus more on healthcare and lifesciences markets.

Danaher provides a full range of diagnostic tools for laboratories. Danaher also provides filtration, purification products, dental products and water treatment. The company has grown through acquisitions and apply its set of principles ("Danaher Business Systems") to continually improve its business process.

Business Overview

Danaher operates in four main segments:
  • Life Sciences (31% of 2017 Revenues): Offers a range of tools to help scientists identify causes of disease, new therapies and test drugs and vaccines. Through its Pall product, the company provides provides various filtration and purification products
  • Diagnostics (32% of 2017 Revenues): Offers a range of analytical instruments, reagents, consumables, software and services for hospitals and laboratories.
  • Dental (15% of 2017 Revenues): Sells products that are used to diagnose, treat and prevent disease and ailments of the teeth, gums and supporting bone.
  • Environmental (22% of 2017 Revenues): Provides instruments to measure water quality and treatment. Provides tools for product identification.

Life Sciences Segment

Danaher's Life Sciences segment consists of the following businesses:

Mass Spectrometry Danaher sells high-end mass spectrometers and consumable chromatography columns and preparation. The machines are used in a wide range of applications including drug discovery, clinical development and basic research testing.

Cellular Analysis, Lab Automation and Centrifugation Danaher offers instruments and consumables to analyze genomic, protein and cellular information. Key products include centrifugation and capillary electrophoresis, liquid handling automation instruments, flow cytometry instrumentation and particle characterization instrumentation.

Filtration Through Pall, Danaher provides tools to remove solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants from a variety of liquids and gases. In Life Sciences, Pall sells filtration and purification technologies, single use bioreactors, plasma and vaccines. In Industrials, Pall provides filtration technologies to protect sensitive parts of equipment from degradation due to contamination.

Microscopy Danaher sells professional microscopes to capture, preserve images and analyze microscopic structures. Key products include laser scanning, compound microscopes, surgical microscopes and specimen preparation products.

The company entered the businesses through acquisitions of Leica Microsystems, AB Sciex, Molecular Devices, Beckman Coulter, Pall and Phenomenex.

Diagnostics Segment

Danaher's Diagnostics segment consists of the following businesses:

Clinical Lab Diagnostics Danaher manufactures biomedical testing equipment, systems and consumables to test samples of body fluids and cells. The information is used to diagnose diseases and guide treatment. Key products include chemistry systems, immunoassay systems, hematology and flow cytometry products, microbiology systems and molecular diagnostics products.

Critical Care Diagnostics Danaher sells instruments, software and consumables used in laboratory and point-of-care environments. These are used to measure blood gases, electrolytes, and high glucose testing.

Anatomical Pathology Diagnostics Danaher sells instruments and consumables to pathology laboratories. Key products include chemical and immunostaining instruments, reagents, antibodies, processing and slicing instruments, slide/cassette marking instruments and imaging instruments.

The company entered the businesses through the acquisitions of Radiometer, Vision Systems, Genetix, Beckman Coulter, Iris International, Aperio Technologies, HemoCue, Devicor Medical Products and Cepheid.

Dental Segment

Danaher's Dental segment provides products to analyze teeth, gums and supporting bone and facial aesthetics. Key products include implant systems, dental prosthetics, orthodontic bracket systems, endodontic systems, infection prevention instruments and digital imaging systems.

The company entered the businesses through the acquisitions of KaVo, Gendex, Sybron, PaloDEx and Nobel Biocare.

Environmental Segment

Danaher's Environmental segment consists of the following businesses:

Water Quality Danaher provides instrumentation, services and disinfection systems to analyze and treat water quality. Key products include analytical instruments, ultraviolet disinfection systems and industrial water treatment solutions.

Product Identification Danaher provides equipment and software to manage product color and appearance. Key products include software for color selection, flexographic computer-to-plate imaging equipment and equipment to code product identification.

The company entered the businesses through the acquisitions of Videojet, Willett International, Linx Printing Technologies PLC, EskoArtwork, X-Rite, Laetus and Advanced Vision Technology Limited.

Manufacturing & Distribution

Danaher uses the set of Danaher Business Systems to improve its business process. DBS originated in the 1980s as an improvement effort based on lean manufacturing. It has since involved into a set of growth, lean, and leadership tools and processes which are designed to continuously improve business performance in areas of quality, delivery, cost and innovation. Today, Danaher uses DBS in all aspects of the company.

As of 2017, the company has 248 manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world.

Sales & Marketing

The company sells through its direct sales force and third party distributors.


Danaher has a wide customer base. Its key customers in the different segments are:
  • Life Sciences Biologists, biochemists, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, medical schools and hospitals.
  • Diagnostics Physicians, hospitals, veterinaries and clinical and pharmaceutical laboratories.
  • Dental Dentists, hygienists, dental laboratories, educational, medical and government entities.
  • Environmental Municipal water treatment plants, industrial water treatment facilities, pharmaceuticals, retailers, paints, graphic design and packaging printers.


Its main competitors in Life Sciences & Diagnostics are Abbott, Agilent Technologies, Becton Dickinson, bioMerieux, Roche, Sartorius and ThermoFisher.

Its main competitors in Dental are Dentsply Sirona, Align Technologies, Straumann, 3M and Plameca.

Its main competitors in Environmental are Xylem, American Water Works and Aqua America.


The company was founded in 1969 as a real estate trust in Massachusetts. The company went public in 1979. In 1986, it entered into manufacturing through its purchase of Chicago Pneumatic. In 2005, the company acquired Leica Microsystems to expand in the life sciences segment.  In 2011, it acquired Beckman Coulter to expand in diagnostics. In 2016, the company spun off its industrials subsidiaries into Fortive. Later that year, the company acquired Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company.


Thomas P. Joyce Jr. (CEO): Thomas Joyce serves as CEO since 2014. Prior, he served as President of Hach/Lange, a water analysis company. He was also a consultant at Andersen Consulting.

Daniel L. Comas (CFO): Daniel Comas serves as CFO since 2005. Prior, he served in various roles at the company including VP Finance and VP Corporate Development.


 $ USD in millions    2013    2014 2015 2016 2017
 Revenues $19,118 
 Gross Profit $9,984 
 Operating Profit $3,275 
 Net Income$2,045 

Danaher Corporation
  Type     Public
  Ticker     NYSE: DHR
  Industry Healthcare
  Founded 1969
  Headquarters Washington, DC
$18.3bn (2017)
  Employees 67,000 (2017)