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Quidel Q4, Full-Year 2017 Revenues Spike on Triage Acquisition

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Diagnostics manufacturer Quidel reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its fourth quarter revenues rose 118 percent year over year, due primarily to cardiac immunoassay revenues from the newly acquired Triage and BNP businesses, as well as increased sales of rapid immunoassay products.

The firm also reported 45 percent revenue growth in its molecular diagnostics business in the quarter.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2017 Quidel reported revenues of $114.9 million, up from $52.8 million in Q4 2016, beating the consensus analyst estimate of $114.7 million.

"We took great strides in the fourth quarter toward becoming a broader-based business," Quidel President and CEO Douglas Bryant said in a statement. He added that the firm's acquisitions of Alere's Triage and BNP Businesses were "transformative in nature" for Quidel "and created a more diversified diagnostics company."

During the quarter, cardiac immunoassay revenue, including the Triage, Triage Toxicology, and BNP business's product revenues, totaled $47.0 million. Revenues from QuickVue, Sofia, and the firm's eye health rapid immunoassay products increased 35 percent, from $36.5 million to $49.1 million. This was led by a 65 percent rise in Sofia revenue, while QuickVue sales remained even with the fourth quarter of last year.  

Molecular diagnostics revenue increased 67 percent, from $2.7 million to $4.5 million, led by 221 percent growth in Solana. Specialized diagnostics, meanwhile, grew 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016 from $13.6 million to $14.2 million.

Bryant added that an increase in flu, strep and RSV product utilization due to a robust respiratory disease season provided a year-end tailwind to Quidel's legacy business.

In a conference call to discuss the earnings Bryant said the revenue uptick during the quarter was driven by US Food and Drug Administration reclassification of Quidel's QuickVue rapid influenza assays, and market receptivity to its Sofia 2 immunoassay analyzer in the quarter which Bryant attributed to early read times for Sofia Influenza, connectivity to its Virena cloud-based monitoring system, and 510(k) clearance and CLIA waiver from the FDA for Strep A on the system. Quidel also received 510(k) clearance for a Lyme disease test on the system in the quarter.

During Q4 2017, Quidel placed 8,226 Sofia analyzers, the most in a single quarter in the firm's history, and at the end of the quarter the company had placed 26,000 Sofia systems in total, Bryant said. It also had a back order of 700 instruments as it exited the year.

Molecular sales were driven mostly by Solana Group A Strep, he said, adding that in the quarter Quidel received 510(k) clearances for Solana Group B Strep, and Solana RSV and human metapneumovirus, bringing the number of assays available on the molecular system to seven.

Quidel's Q4 net loss widened to $5.1 million, or $.15 per share, from a loss of $2.0 million, or $.06 per share, in Q4 2016. On an adjusted basis, Quidel's Q4 2017 EPS was $.56, and beat the consensus analyst estimate of $.20 per share.

Quidel's Q4 R&D expenses rose 43 percent to $10.7 million from $7.5 million in the year-ago period primarily due to the acquisition of the Triage business. Its SG&A costs increased fivefold year over year to $35.1 million from $6.5 million, largely due to personnel costs and higher incentive and stock-based compensation and costs associated with the Triage and BNP Businesses, the company said.

Quidel also recorded acquisition and integration costs of $9.5 million for the recently completed quarter, compared to $143,000 in Q4 2016,

For full-year 2017, Quidel reported total revenues of $277.7 million, up 45 percent from $191.6 million in 2016, but short of the consensus analysts' estimate of $278.0 million.

Immunoassay revenues in 2017 increased 36 percent to $165.1 million from $121.4 million, with Sofia revenue growing 60 percent to $81.6 million, the firm said. Specialized Diagnostics revenues declined 14 percent to $52.0 million from $60.7 million in 2016 mostly due to a $6.5 million decrease in grant revenue. Molecular Diagnostics revenue increased 43 percent to $13.6 million, led by 222 percent growth in Solana in the year.

Quidel's net loss in 2017 decreased to $8.2 million, or $.24 per share, from $13.8 million, or $.42 per share, in 2016. On an adjusted basis, Quidel reported EPS of $1.07, beating the analysts' average estimate of $.06.

In 2017, Quidel's R&D expenses decreased by 13 percent year over year to $33.6 million from $38.7 million due to decreased spending for the Savanna MDx platform and clinical trials. Meanwhile, SG&A expenses rose 26 percent to $96.4 million from $76.8 million.

Acquisition and integration costs for 2017 was $16.5 million, up from $711,000 in 2016, the firm said.

Quidel ended the year with $36.1 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.

In early morning trading on Thursday, Quidel's shares were down about 4 percent on the Nasdaq to $44.45.

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