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Meridian Bioscience's Q2 Revenues Rise 16 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Meridian Bioscience today reported second-quarter revenue growth of 16 percent with double-digit growth for its life science and US diagnostics business.

The Cincinnati-based diagnostics firm reported total revenues of $47.4 million for the three-month period ended March 31, up 16 percent from $41.1 million for the first quarter of 2011. It beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $44.8 million.

The firm's US diagnostics business had 12 percent growth, while its European diagnostics business grew 8 percent. Its life science business grew sales 30 percent, partly due to its Bioline business, which had 17 percent revenue growth. Meridian purchased Bioline, a manufacturer and distributor of molecular biology reagents, for $23.3 million in mid-2010.

Meridian also continues to expand its presence in the molecular diagnostics market, which it entered in 2010 with the launch of its illumigene platform and US Food and Drug Administration clearance of its illumigene C. difficile molecular amplification assay.

The second test for the MDx platform, the illumigene GBS test for detecting Group B Streptocococcus, was cleared by the FDA this past December. It also recently received Australian marketing approval for the test.

"Although the product has just recently been launched, we are pleased to report that approximately 90 customers have ordered this test to- date," Meridian CEO John Kraeutler, said in a statement. "In addition, we continue to convert new customers to the illumigene platform, with approximately 825 customers to-date utilizing close to 900 illumipro readers that service nearly 1000 laboratories."

Meridian posted net income of $9.6 million, or $.23 per share, up from $7.3 million, or $.18 per share, for Q2 2011. It beat analysts' consensus estimate of $.21.

The firm's R&D spending for the quarter increased 9 percent to $2.5 million from $2.3 million, and its SG&A expenses climbed 7 percent to $12.2 million from $11.4 million.

Meridian finished the quarter with $24.3 million in cash and short-term investments and $75.9 million in working capital.

The company said that it expects fiscal-year 2012 revenues to be between $183 million and $192 million with EPS between $.85 and $.89.

Meridian's board of directors also declared a quarterly dividend of $.19. The dividend is payable on May 14 to shareholders of record on May 4.

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