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Quidel Q1 Revenues Fall 13 Percent on Tough Flu Comp, Currency Headwind

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Quidel reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its first quarter revenues declined 13 percent year over year, primarily driven by difficult year-over year comparable flu test sales and foreign currency headwind.

For the three months ended March 31, revenues fell to $148.0 million from $169.1 million in Q1 2018, below analysts' average estimate of $155.2 million.

Foreign exchange had a negative impact of $2.2 million in the quarter, Quidel said in a statement, with the majority of the foreign currency headwind impacting the firm's cardiac immunoassay business.

Cardiac immunoassay revenues were $65.9 million in the first quarter of 2019, declining 4 percent from $68.4 in the first quarter of 2018. Excluding the foreign exchange impact, Quidel said the cardiac revenue was $68.0 million, comparable to last year.

Rapid immunoassay product revenues fell 23 percent year over year to $62.5 million from $80.7 million, primarily due to a $17.4 million decrease in influenza revenue.

Molecular diagnostic solutions revenues increased 12 percent to $5.7 million from $5.1 million in the prior-year quarter. This was led by 24 percent growth in Solana sales, San Diego-based Quidel said.  Meanwhile, specialized diagnostic solutions revenues decreased 7 percent year over year to $13.9 million from $14.9 million.

Although the firm's flu sales were lower, they were still high enough to make it "the second-largest quarter for influenza revenue in the company's history after Q1 of 2018," Quidel President and CEO Douglas Bryant said in a statement.

Quidel's Q1 net income fell to $24.8 million, or $.60 per share, from $34 million, or $.86 per share, in Q1 2018. On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of $.91 per share, below the average Wall Street estimate for earnings of $1.01 per share.

The firm's Q1 R&D expenses rose 10 percent to $13.9 million from $12.6 million year over year, due to incremental expense for the Savanna molecular diagnostic platform and Sofia assays that was partially offset by decreased spend in the Triage business. Its SG&A expenses also rose 10 percent to $43.0 million from $39.1 million in the prior-year period, due to higher marketing expenses and other consultative costs, as well as additional facility expenses and professional service fees in the period. 

Quidel finished the first quarter with $56.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.

"With Q1 now behind us, we believe that a 2019 revenue target of $535 million on a constant currency basis seems appropriate," Bryant said.

In Thursday morning trading on Nasdaq, Quidel shares were down 7 percent to $60.22.