NEW YORK – Bio-Rad Laboratories reported Thursday after the close of the market that its first quarter revenues increased 27 percent year over year.
For the three months ended March 31, 2021, Bio-Rad reported revenues of $726.8 million compared to $571.6 million a year ago and well ahead of analysts' average expectation for revenues of $661.0 million.
On a currency-neutral basis, Q1 revenues increased 23 percent year over year, the company said.
First quarter Life Science segment sales rose approximately 61 percent year over year to $366.5 million from $227.2 million, or a 57 percent increase on a currency-neutral basis. The company said growth in this segment was primarily driven by growth in qPCR, western blotting, Droplet Digital PCR, and process media products, and that a significant portion of the growth was from products used to support COVID-19 research and testing.
Ilan Daskal, Bio-Rad's CFO, said on a call with investors late Thursday that the firm estimates COVID 19-related sales were approximately $94 million in the quarter, which the firm primarily attributed to sales of qPCR instruments used for SARS-CoV-2 testing. Furthermore, "We are seeing most academic and diagnostic labs now running at about 90 percent capacity, which is an improvement to what we saw in Q4," Daskal said.
In the Life Science segment, Bio-Rad is seeing continued adoption of Droplet Digital PCR in biopharma, Daskal noted, and the firm saw "good demand" for the automated ddPCR QX ONE system in wastewater testing applications for COVID. Bio-Rad also introduced COVID variant assays in the quarter.
Clinical Diagnostics segment sales increased 5 percent to $358.5 million from $340.3 million in Q1 2020, or 2 percent on a currency-neutral basis, driven by diabetes and quality control product sales in the Asia Pacific region.
"As we have anticipated, some of our markets continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and not operating at full capacity, although we are beginning to see a gradual improvement in our end markets," said Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad's president and CEO, in a statement. "We expect that momentum to continue as the year progresses," he added.
Bio-Rad reported net income of $977.4 million, or $32.38 per share, in Q1 compared to $685.9 million, or $22.72 per share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, net income was $157.4 million, or $5.21 per share, trouncing analysts' average estimate of $3.00.
Bio-Rad's Q1 R&D expenditures increased 50 percent year over year to $73.9 million from $49.3 million, while its SG&A spending increased 17 percent to $225.9 million from $193.7 million a year ago.
The company ended the quarter with $673.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $352.0 million in short-term investments.
For full year 2021, Bio-Rad guided for non-GAAP currency-neutral revenue growth of approximately 5.5 to 6.0 percent. On the call, Daskal noted that this is an increase from the previous range of 4.5 to 5.0 percent due in part to the firm now estimating between $170 million and $180 million in COVID 19-related sales, versus a prior estimate of between about $150 million and $160 million.
In Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Bio-Rad were up a fraction of a percent at $641.22.