By Kirell Lakhman
Quest today reported that first-quarter revenue remained flat year over year as profits slid 3 percent on lay-off charges and bad weather, and said it has cut 2010 revenue projections by half.
(LabCorp this morning similarly blamed bad weather for its lackluster first-quarter performance.)
Quest also reported "continued growth in gene-based and esoteric testing."
Total receipts fro the three months ended March 31 were $1.8 billion, which was largely unchanged from the same period last year. In a statement, the company said "severe weather is estimated to have reduced growth in clinical testing revenues and volume by 1 percent."
SG&A spending in the quarter rose to $430.7 million from $424.3 million year over year, and profits fell to $162.4 million from $167.1 million, Quest said. It added that earnings comparisons were impacted by a 2010 first quarter charge … principally associated with workforce reductions [and] to the estimated impact of severe weather."
The company lowered its revenue growth projections to between 1 percent and 2 percent. Quest had originally expected receipts to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent.
"Our business remains strong, despite being negatively impacted by severe weather and softness in the marketplace," CEO Surya Mohapatra said in the statement. "We saw continued growth in gene-based and esoteric testing, and generated strong cash from operations. In addition, we are taking actions to accelerate growth and further manage our costs."
Quest said it had around $463 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31.