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Flu Season Drives Quidel's Q1 Revenues up 63 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Quidel reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its revenues in the first quarter increased 63 percent year over year.

For the three months ended March 31, Quidel recorded revenues of $62.0 million, up from $38.0 million in Q1 2012, but short of the consensus Wall Street estimate of $62.6 million.

The increase was driven by the influenza season, which started in the fourth quarter of 2012 and ran "well into the first quarter," Quidel President and CEO Douglas Bryant said in a statement. "Demand for our respiratory products, including QuickVue, Sofia, Quidel Molecular, and Diagnostic Hybrids, remained elevated through much of February until the percentage of patient visits attributable to influenza-like illness fell as the epidemic ebbed."

The firm's profits during the quarter rose to $12.4 million, or $.36 per share, compared to $51,000, or breakeven on an EPS basis, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding amortization of intangibles and stock compensation expense, EPS was $.49, beating the average analyst EPS estimate of $.37.

Its R&D costs were down 12 percent year over year to $7.5 million from $8.5 million, while SG&A costs increased 28 percent to $16.0 million from $12.5 million a year ago.

Quidel finished the quarter with $45.9 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.

Highlights from the firm's first quarter included clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration of the company's C. difficile assay with Life Technologies' QuantStudio Dx and 7500 Fast Dx Applied Biosystems Real-Time PCR instruments, as well as FDA clearance of Quidel's molecular respiratory viral panel.

"In addition to strong financial performance in the quarter we continued to execute our product development strategy and are poised to launch an increasing number of new products in 2013," Bryant said.

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