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Meridian Bioscience Reports 7 Percent Spike in Fiscal Q1 Revenues

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Meridian Bioscience today reported a 7 percent year-over-year uptick in fiscal first quarter revenues driven by balanced contributions from its key operating segments.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Cincinnati-based molecular diagnostics and life science research tools firm brought in revenue of $48 million compared to $44.8 million in the same quarter last year and beating the consensus analysts' estimate of $46.2 million.

Diagnostics revenues at the company jumped 5 percent organically to $36.6 million, driven by a 16 percent increase in sales of illumigene molecular diagnostic products, a 12 percent spike in H. pylori testing, and a 5 percent increase in foodborne testing.

Meridian said that it added 36 new illumigene customers and placed 76 new assays since its last earnings report in early November, and now has a customer base of 1,369 labs using the technology. Strong respiratory revenues from its Group A Strep and pertussis tests, along with steady increases in Group B strep, are providing "excellent growth" even as the company's C. difficile sales flag due to a competitive market, the company said in a statement.

Meantime, Meridian's Life Science segment sales grew 15 percent to $11.4 million driven largely by a 26 percent increase in immunoassay component products. Meridian's Bioline molecular components increased by 3 percent on a reported basis and 6 percent on a constant currency basis, although newer Bioline products such as MyTaq, SensiFAST, and Isolate grew by 18 percent.

Meridian posted fiscal Q1 net earnings of $7.9 million, or $.19 per share, compared to $7.4 million, or $.18 per share in the year-ago period. On average, analysts had expected EPS of $.18.

The firm spent $3.1 million on R&D in fiscal Q1, a 7 percent uptick from $2.9 million in the same quarter last year. Meantime, SG&A expenses dropped slightly to $13.5 million from $13.6 million.

Meridian finished the quarter with $49.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company also reaffirmed its FY 2015 guidance of revenues in the range of $193 million to $200 million and EPS of between $.85 and $.91.

"Our balance sheet continued to gain strength which, along with an unused credit facility and zero long-term debt, continues to keep Meridian in a very strong position for potential licensing and acquisition opportunities which are under constant review and consideration," CEO John Kraeutler said in a statement. "Our outlook is positive and we are eagerly anticipating multiple new product launches, including the second quarter [rest-of-the-world] launches of illumigene Chlamydia/Gonorrhea and Tru Strep Pneumo along with five Isolate II DNA/RNA kits from our Life Science segment. We are reaffirming our fiscal 2015 guidance as we continue to build upon the first quarter momentum."