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Meridian Bioscience Q4 Revenues Grow 7 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Meridian Bioscience today reported a 7 percent year over year increase in its fiscal fourth quarter revenues and a 6 percent increase in fiscal year 2018 revenues.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the diagnostics manufacturer reported revenues of $53.1 million compared to $49.7 million in the prior year, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $51.1 million.

Revenues from the firm's Diagnostics segment grew 2 percent to $36.8 million from $36.0 million in the previous year, while revenues in the Life Science segment were up 19 percent to $16.2 million from $13.7 million.

"We are very pleased that those segments posted these levels of growth while executing efforts to integrate and streamline their respective commercial units," said Meridian CFO Melissa Lueke during the firm's a call to recap its earnings. 

Leuke noted that the firm saw strong volume growth in respiratory illness assays with a 29 percent increase due to strength in Group A Strep and influenza assay sales. There was also a 12 percent increase in lead and blood chemistry assay sales due to increased penetration in pediatric offices leading to higher testing volumes. This growth was partially offset by declines in the gastrointestinal assays. Specifically, GI assays declined 5 percent primarily due to decline C. diff sales volume, offset by growth in H. pylori testing volume.  

Meridian's net earnings fell slightly to $5.4 million, or $.13 per share, in Q4 2018 from $5.7 million, or $.13 per share, in Q4 2017. On an adjusted basis, the firm reported earnings of $.20 per share, besting the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.16.

In Q4, Meridian's R&D expenses was 19 percent lower year over year at $3.6 million compared to $4.5 million, while its SG&A expenses increased about 2 percent to $16.8 million from $16.5 million.

For fiscal year 2018, the firm's revenues rose 6 percent to $213.6 million from $200.8 million in 2017, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $211.7 million.

Revenues from the Diagnostics segment increased 5 percent to $150.5 million from $143.5 million in 2017, while revenues in the Life Science segment rose 10 percent to $63.1 million from $57.3 million.

The firm's net earnings for the year fell to $23.8 million, or $.56 per share, from $21.6 million, or $.51 per share, in FY 2017. On an adjusted basis, the firm reported earnings per share of $.74, above Wall Street's consensus estimate of $.70.

For FY 2018, R&D expenses rose 6 percent to $16.9 million from $16.0 million, while SG&A spending rose 9 percent to $69.0 million from $63.5 million.

The company ended the fiscal year with $59.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

It also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.125 per share for fiscal Q4.

For fiscal 2019, Meridian provided guidance of 2 to 4 percent growth in net revenues and earnings per share of $.74 to $.76. Analysts, on average, are expecting revenues of $217.7 million and earnings per share of $.77 for 2019.

In Thursday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Meridian were up 12 percent at $18.97.

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