Scientific instrument maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. said Wednesday its profit rose 9 percent in the fourth quarter as lower costs offset a drop in revenue.

Thermo Fisher earned $297.5 million, or 75 cents per share, up from $273.3 million, or 65 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue fell 2 percent to $2.78 billion from $2.84 billion.

Excluding charges, earnings were $1 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 95 cents per share in profit on $2.8 billion in revenue.

Thermo Fisher said revenue from its laboratory products and services revenue fell 6 percent to $1.67 billion, while analytical technologies revenue rose 4 percent to $1.24 billion. Some sales are counted to both businesses.

Meanwhile, operating expenses fell 3 percent to $2.44 billion. Interest and other expenses also declined.

For the full year, the company earned $1.04 billion, or $2.53 per share, up from $850.3 million, or $2.01 per share, in 2009. Revenue rose to $10.79 billion from $10.11 billion.

Looking ahead, the company expects 2011 adjusted profit between $4 and $4.10 per share on revenue between $11.33 billion and $11.45 billion. Analysts expect full-year profit of $4.05 per share on $11.55 billion in revenue.

The company's estimate excludes the effect of the pending $2.1 billion acquisition of Dionex.

Shares of Thermo Fisher fell $1.31, or 2.3 percent, to $56.10 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $41.74 and $58.16 over the last 52 weeks.