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Meridian Bio FY 2015 Guidance Below Street Expectations

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Meridian Bioscience today released its revenue and earnings per share guidance for fiscal year 2015, coming in below Wall Street expectations.

The Cincinnati-based diagnostics and life science research tools firm, however, reaffirmed its FY 2014 revenue guidance of $190 million to $195 million, and its earnings-per-share guidance of between $.85 and $.90, both within analysts' consensus estimates of $191.6 million in revenues and EPS of $.86. Meridian's fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Meridian said that it expects revenues for its FY 2015 year to be in a range of $193 million to $200 million, below the consensus Wall Street estimate of $203.8 million. Its EPS guidance of between $.85 and $.91 also fell short of the consensus estimate of $.97.

John Kraeutler, CEO of Meridian, said that the firm's 2015 guidance is based on expectations that the markets the firm targets "will continue to be highly competitive as established and new diagnostics competitors attempt to advance their new molecular platforms." Competitors, such as GenMark Diagnostics, Luminex, and Quidel are all targeting launches in the next year or two of new molecular diagnostics systems.

"For our Life Science units, double-digit growth should continue for our Bioline molecular components business, somewhat offset by lower growth rates in our core immunoassay components business," Krauetler said.

"With regard to Diagnostics, we expect that continued growth from our illumigene molecular platform will be driven by illumigene Group A Strep, illumigene Group B Strep, and our recently-cleared illumigene Pertussis test," he added. "Also, revenue increases are expected in our H. pylori product portfolio, with somewhat more conservative expectations for our foodborne category. A number of new product launches are anticipated, including illumigene Chlamydia/Gonorrhea and illumigene Herpes Simplex Virus I & II; however, we have not included any revenue contributions from these products in our guidance estimates."

Piper Jaffray analyst William Quirk noted today that while he believes Meridian's FY 2015 guidance is achievable, the firm has "lowered its initial outlook for each of the last five fiscal years."

Piper Jaffray has an Underweight rating on Meridian's shares with a $15 price target.

Shares of Meridian were down a fraction of 1 percent at $19.50 in early Tuesday afternoon trade on the Nasdaq.

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