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Quidel Q4 Revenues Down 18 Percent Due to Weak Flu Season

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Quidel said after the close of the market on Wednesday that its fourth quarter revenues decreased 18 percent year over year due to lower sales of infectious disease products, the result of a delayed and weak influenza season.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Quidel reported revenues of $52.4 million compared to $64.0 million in Q4 2014, in line with the consensus analysts' estimate of $52.6 million and consistent with preliminary results the firm announced in January.

"Until the last three weeks of the year, we had been running meaningfully favorable to each of the prior year months and quarters, including Q4," Quidel CEO Douglas Bryant said during a conference call recapping the results.

"The key difference in the last three weeks of last year was the absence of reordering of our influenza products by our distribution partners, a difference of approximately $20 million in influenza revenues," Bryant said.

Infectious disease product revenues were down 23 percent led by lower sales of influenza and group A Streptococcus products, Quidel said. Total influenza revenues decreased 33 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014. Sofia immunoassays made up 52 of the total flu revenues, while QuickVue revenues accounted for 34 percent and DHI Respiratory revenues were 14 percent. Women's health revenues grew 6 percent to $9.3 million while gastrointestinal product revenues were flat at $1.8 million.

Fourth quarter R&D expenses were $9.9 million, an increase of $700,000 compared to the year-ago period due to development of the next-generation immunoassay instrument, Sofia 2. SG&A expenses increased 6 percent to $19.5 million from $18.4 million.

Quidel's net loss in Q4 was $377,000, or $.01 per share, compared to a net income of $7.1 million, or $.20 per share, in Q4 2014. On an adjusted basis, Quidel's Q4 EPS was $.10, above the consensus analysts' estimate of $.05 per share.

For full-year 2015, Quidel reported total revenues of $196.1 million, up 6 percent from $184.2 million in 2014 and ahead of the consensus analysts' estimate of $195.5 million. This increase was driven primarily by stronger sales of infectious disease products in the first nine months of 2015, offset by weaker sales of infectious disease products in Q4.

Bryant noted the full-year revenues were "actually a record for our company, even without the additional $15 million to $20 million or more that we would have expected the last three weeks of the year" due to flu-related sales.

The firm's Solana platform was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration in mid-2015, along with an assay for Group A Streptococcus. "Now on our second quarter of launch, having gained valuable insights from our experiences with our previous AmpliVue launches, we are demonstrating our ability to compete in the molecular segment [and] ... the number and type of customers early on has been encouraging," Bryant said. The firm will be adding menu items to Solana in the coming year and will also begin field studies in Africa of its quantitative HIV-1 viral load assay on its Savanna platform.

In 2015, Quidel's R&D expenses decreased 6 percent to $35.5 million due to decreased spend for the development of its Savanna molecular testing system, offset by increased investment in Sofia and Sofia 2 instrument systems and assays. Meantime, SG&A expenses rose 12 percent to $77.3 million from $68.9 million, due to the full-year effect of expansion and training of a larger sales force in 2015 and one-time expenses incurred in the first quarter associated with business development activities.

Quidel's net loss in 2014 was $6.1 million, or $.18 per share, compared to net loss of $7.1 million, or $.21 per share, in 2014. On an adjusted basis, Quidel had net income of $11.2 million, or $.32 per share, compared to $12.3 million, or $.35 per share, in 2014. On average, analysts had expected a net loss of $.21 per share for the year.

Quidel ended the year with $191.5 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.