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Meridian Bioscience Q3 Revenues Grow 3 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Meridian Bioscience today reported a 3 percent year over year uptick in its fiscal third quarter revenues driven primarily by the company's life science segment.

For the three months ended June 30, the Cincinnati-based life science and diagnostics firm logged revenues of $51.7 million compared to $50.1 million a year ago, falling short of analysts' consensus estimate of $52.1 million.

Meridian's diagnostics revenues grew 1 percent year over year to $36.4 million from $36.0 million, while its life science revenues jumped 8 percent to $15.4 million from $14.2 million.

Diagnostics revenues included single-digit growth in the company's Helicobacter pylori product line and double-digit growth in its respiratory and Magellan Diagnostics lead-testing products, largely offset by declines in its Clostridium difficile and foodborne products.

Magellan, a subsidiary of Meridian, was cited by the US Food and Drug Administration last year for issues with its lead-testing system and tests, and in October the agency warned Magellan that it may have broken federal laws. Eventually, it was found that the issues with Magellan's tests may have resulted from interference from Becton Dickinson's blood collection tubes.

In a statement, Meridian CEO Jack Kenny noted that the company remains committed to working closely with the FDA regarding the use of venous blood with Magellan LeadCare Testing Systems.

In the life sciences segment, Meridian's molecular and immunological reagent products grew 8 percent and 9 percent year over year, respectively, while revenues in China increased nearly 20 percent.

Kenny noted that the company recently submitted a de novo 510(k) application for its Illumigene CMV assay to the FDA. "We expect to launch our Illumigene CMV, the first molecular test to detect cytomegalovirus in newborns, in early calendar year 2019," Kenny said.

Meridian's Q3 net earnings were $6.8 million, or $.16 per share, compared to $240,000, or $.01 per share a year ago. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $.18, in line with analyst expectations.

"We have been focused on streamlining the organization and consolidating activities within our two segments, Diagnostics and Life Science," Kenny said. "These efforts are starting to yield savings and efficiencies, which we intend to reinvest in the business. We continue to look at opportunities to further improve operational efficiencies across the business. Additionally, we are evaluating and pursuing opportunities to improve and expand our competitive position in both the Diagnostics and Life Science segments."

Meridian's Q3 R&D expenses were $4.3 million, up 7 percent from $4.0 million a year ago. Its SG&A spending was $16.9 million, up 4 percent from $16.3 million in Q3 2017.

The company finished the quarter with $57.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Meridian reaffirmed fiscal 2018 guidance, which it provided at the end of Q2, of revenues in the range of $209 million to $214 million, with non-GAAP EPS of $.69 to $.72.

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