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Bio-Techne Fiscal Q2 Revenues Rise 21 Percent

NEW YORK – Bio-Techne on Tuesday announced that its fiscal 2021 second quarter revenues rose 21 percent year over year.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, the Minneapolis-based firm reported $224.3 million in revenues, up from $184.9 million a year ago and beating analysts' average estimate of $206.5 million.

In Q2, the firm reported Diagnostics and Genomics revenue of $52.5 million, up 20 percent year over year from $43.8 million, and Protein Sciences revenue of $172.2 million, up 22 percent from $141.5 million in the prior-year quarter.

Bio-Techne said its Protein Sciences and Diagnostics and Genomics segments each saw record organic growth of 19 percent for the quarter.

"To achieve 19 percent organic growth with only 3 percent attributed to COVID tailwinds attests to the strong execution of our strategy we have implemented in recent years," Chuck Kummeth, president and CEO of Bio-Techne, said in a statement.

Kummeth added during a conference call to discuss Bio-Techne's financial results that its organic growth rate in fiscal Q2 was broad-based across its business segments and geographies.

Its Protein Sciences segment growth was driven in part by sales strength in its core reagent portfolio, with both research-use-only proteins and antibodies growing at low double digits, Kummeth said.

"In addition to the impact of academic labs reopening … our reagent business also experienced a favorable tailwind from custom work for biopharma customers in need of additional protein or antibody capacity," he added. "Our custom reagent development business increased over 60 percent in the quarter, and we are leveraging multiple strategies to capitalize on this outsourcing trend going forward."

Meanwhile, fiscal Q2 revenue grew more than 100 percent year over year for Bio-Techne's Exosome Diagnostics business, driven by higher collections from Medicare, private payors, and directly from patients. Test volumes also increased over the previous quarter for its Exosome Diagnostics ExoDx liquid biopsy test for prostate cancer.

"Encouragingly, we believe most of the urology practices across the country have reopened … but patient traffic is still down from last year as older patients are more likely to quarantine at home until they become vaccinated," Kummeth said. "We expect urology practice traffic to continue to improve as vaccines make their way into this segment of the population, which in turn should have a positive impact on our ExoDx prostate testing volumes."

He added that the firm expects an uptick in sales for a COVID-19 serology assay that it developed with Kantaro Biosciences, as more people who have been vaccinated seek answers to whether they have immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

Bio-Techne's Q2 R&D expenses rose 2 percent year over year to $16.8 million from $16.4 million, and its SG&A expenses rose 22 percent year over year to $83.1 million from $68.0 million. 

For its fiscal second quarter, Bio-Techne posted a net income of $46.3 million, or $1.15 per share, compared to $119.6 million, or $3.02 per share, a year ago.

The drop in year-over-year earnings per share was primarily due to a non-recurring gain of approximately $121 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 stemming from Bio-Techne's investment in Mountain View, California-based ChemoCentryx.

Bio-Techne's adjusted EPS for fiscal Q2 2020 was $1.62, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.37.

At the end of fiscal Q2, the firm had $165.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $117.4 million in short-term available-for-sale investments. Bio-Techne said it paid down approximately $125 million in outstanding debt during the first half of fiscal 2021.

In a research note on Tuesday, SVB Leerink analyst Puneet Souda said the investment bank views Bio-Techne as "a high-growth research tools engine consisting of [a] nearly 90 percent consumables business that is positioned to drive growth in key end-markets of preclinical discovery, proteomics, cell and gene therapy, and liquid biopsy markets longer term."

Bio-Techne shares were up more than 11 percent to $380.45 in Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq.