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Qiagen Q1 Sales Rise 4 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Qiagen reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its first quarter sales increased 4 percent year over year with growth across all regions and customer classes.

The firm reported total sales of $317.1 million for the three months ended March 31, up from $303.6 million. On an adjusted basis, its sales for the quarter were up 5 percent to $317.4 million at constant exchange rates. It beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $316.9 million.

Qiagen said that its consumables sales increased 5 percent at constant exchange rates year over year, while instrument sales increased 3 percent. Across its four customer classes, molecular diagnostics sales increased 1 percent at CER, applied testing was up 14 percent, sales to pharma increased 8 percent, and sales to academia also increased 8 percent year over year.

"In academia, following the pressures in 2013 on US and European government research funding, we're starting to see some modestly improving trends," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said on a conference call Wednesday morning. "However, we continue to expect funding levels to remain below those seen in recent years."

Qiagen said that the MDx business managed to report growth despite a 27 percent decline in HPV testing sales. It noted that sales for its Quantiferon-TB test grew more than 20 percent and the test is on target to top sales of $100 million in 2014. In addition, its QIAsymphony platform drove double-digit growth for its profiling consumables.

"Our personalized healthcare portfolio posted higher sales in the first quarter, overcoming the US reimbursement challenges during 2013 for companion diagnostic kits," Schatz added on the call. "We have been very pleased with the pace of new co-development agreements being reached with pharma companies."

Qiagen posted net income of $23.3 million, or $.10 per share, compared to $20.1 million, or $.08 per share, for Q1 2013. On an adjusted basis, its EPS was $.22, matching analysts' consensus estimate.

Its R&D spending for the quarter increased 17 percent to $40.3 million from $34.3 million. The firm's SG&A expenses dropped 8 percent year over year to $118.1 million from $128.5 million.

Qiagen finished the quarter with $564.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and $113.7 million in short-term investments.

For full year 2014, Qiagen expects to report revenue growth of 4 percent to 5 percent at CER. It expects adjusted EPS between $1.07 and $1.09.

Qiagen also said that it plans to launch a third $100 million share repurchase program after it completes its current $100 million program this year.

The firm announced earlier this week that it received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its QIAsymphony RGQ MDx system and Artus C. difficile QS-RGQ MDx kit.

"We're working on up to about 10 additional US and European submissions this year," said Schatz.

He also noted that the firm's R&D team has been making progress on its GeneReader platform, "addressing the challenges to developing this NGS benchtop workflow into a complete sample-to-insight system targeting the needs of customers in clinical research and diagnostics." He said the firm expects the GeneReader to hit the market in 12 to 18 months, and "the initial focus will be on partnering with customers in biomedical research, clinical research, and clinical diagnostics."