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Labcorp Acquiring Invitae Assets for $239M, Posts 5 Percent Rise in Q1 Revenues

This story has been updated to include comments from Labcorp's Q1 earnings call.

NEW YORK – Laboratory Corporation of America said after the close of markets Wednesday that it has been chosen as the winning bidder to acquire assets of genetic testing firm Invitae for $239 million.

The company said it anticipates the acquisition, which is expected to close in Q3 2024, will generate roughly $275 million to $300 million in annual revenue, with most of that in specialty testing areas including oncology and rare diseases.

Labcorp is acquiring the assets through an auction as part of Invitae's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. Invitae filed for Chapter 11 protection in February. The court must approve the transaction before it can move forward. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 6.

During a conference call following release of the company's Q1 2024 financial results, Labcorp Chairman and CEO Adam Schechter said the acquisition will advance the company's strategy to "launch and scale specialty testing."

He noted Invitae's large hereditary cancer testing business, saying that it is much larger than Labcorp's current business in that area and added that it will augment and accelerate its efforts in oncology.

Schechter also highlighted Invitae's next-generation sequencing expertise as a driver of the deal.

"They have a very good NGS platform," he said. "We are going to look to see what we can use that they have and use what we have and get the best platform we can possibly get."

Labcorp Executive Vice President and CFO Glenn Eisenberg said on the call that the firm expects the Invitae business will become profitable in the first year, noting that while the company anticipates continued R&D spending it believes it can drive down SG&A costs.

In addition to tests for detecting and diagnosing cancer, Invitae offers tests in women's health, cardiology, pediatric and rare diseases, and neurology, according to its website.

Earlier this year, it sold its reproductive health assets to Natera for $52.5 million, and late last year it divested its Ciitizen health data platform.

Invitae is the second large acquisition announced by Labcorp in recent weeks, following its announcement at the end of March that it will acquire select assets of Opko subsidiary BioReference Health for $237.5 million. During the call, Schechter said the BioReference assets are focused on clinical diagnostics and women's health.

For Q1, Labcorp reported a 5 percent year-over-year rise in revenues.

Labcorp's revenues for the quarter ended March 31 were $3.18 billion, up from $3.04 billion in the same quarter last year and above the consensus Wall Street estimate of $3.12 billion.

Organic revenues were up 2 percent while currency translation pushed revenues down by less than 1 percent. Acquisitions contributed revenue growth of slightly less than 2 percent, the Burlington, North Carolina-based firm said. The company posted organic base business revenue growth of 4 percent. COVID-19 testing revenues were down 2 percent year over year.

In the company's diagnostics division, revenue for the quarter was $2.48 billion, up 4 percent from $2.38 billion in the same quarter last year. Organic revenues were up 2 percent, as acquisitions contributed 2 percent of growth. Labcorp's base testing business was up more than 4 percent, partially offset by a decline in its COVID-19 testing business that contributed a 3 percent headwind.

Total volume, as measured by test requisitions, was up 3 percent, with organic volume up 1 percent, as acquisitions contributed 2 percent of growth. Organic volume growth was driven by a 3 percent rise in base business volume, while poor weather conditions and a drop in COVID-19 testing volumes each accounted for a decline of 1 percent.

Revenues for the company's biopharma laboratory services division was $710.9 million, up 8 percent from $661.3 million in Q1 2023.

Net earnings attributable to Labcorp for the quarter were $228.0 million, or $2.69 per share, compared to net earnings of $212.9 million, or $2.39 per share, for Q1 last year. The company's adjusted EPS was $3.68, beating analysts' average estimate of $3.48.

The company's SG&A expenses were $508.4 million, up 11 percent from $457.2 million in the same quarter last year.

Labcorp reported $99.3 million in cash and cash equivalents as of the end of the quarter.

The company revised its full-year 2024 guidance, projecting revenue growth of between 4.8 percent and 6.4 percent with growth in its diagnostics business expected to be between 4.8 percent and 6.0 percent. Adjusted EPS is anticipated to be between $14.45 and $15.35.

Previously, it projected revenue growth ranging between 4.7 percent and 6.5 percent with growth in its diagnostics business of between 3.2 percent and 4.8 percent. Adjusted EPS was projected to be between $14.30 and $15.40.

In Thursday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Labcorp shares were down 5 percent to $197.86.