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As Expected, Quest Diagnostics Posts 2 Percent Sales Decline

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Quest Diagnostics today reported that its third quarter sales were down 2 percent year over year, in line with its pre-announcement made just last week.

The clinical lab and diagnostic information services provider reported revenues of $1.79 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, down 2 percent year over year from $1.82 billion. Analysts had previously expected $1.84 billion in revenues for the quarter.

The firm's net income for the quarter was $413.9 million, or $2.66 per share, compared to $171.6 million, or $.98 per share. On an adjusted basis, EPS for the quarter was $1.02, down from $1.15 year over year, and short of Wall Street's previous estimates of $1.20.

"We are disappointed with our third quarter performance, particularly after generating revenues early in the period that were in line with our expectations," Steve Rusckowski, president and CEO of Quest, said in a statement. "Healthcare utilization and reimbursement continue to be a headwind for our industry, and our results reflect that. As we have said previously, 2013 is a building year that will position us well for 2014 and beyond."

Quest finished the quarter with $158.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The firm said that it expects full year 2013 revenues to be approximately 3.5 percent below last year's revenues — compared to a previous expectation of 1 to 2 percent below last year's revenues. Its EPS is expected to be between $3.85 and $3.95, down from previous guidance of $4.35 to $4.50.