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Bio-Rad Q4 Revenues Jump 27 Percent; Firm Gets FDA EUA for COVID/Flu Combo Test

NEW YORK – Bio-Rad Laboratories said after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues rose approximately 27 percent year over year.

Bio-Rad also announced it received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for a combined COVID-19, influenza A, and influenza B multiplex syndromic RT-PCR test.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, the Hercules, California-based firm reported $789.8 million in revenues compared to $624.4 million in the year-ago period. On a currency-neutral basis, quarterly revenues increased approximately 24 percent year over year. On average, analysts had expected revenues of $686.8 million for the quarter.

"While many of our markets are still operating at less than 100 percent, our COVID-19-related products surpassed expectations in the fourth quarter, and we experienced a larger than normal end-of-year budget release," Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad's president and CEO said in a statement.

The firm's life science segment sales were up 77 percent year over year to $428.5 million in Q4, or up 74 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Bio-Rad said the increase reflected demand for its COVID-19 pandemic-related PCR products as well as strong performance in the biopharma segment. The revenue also included $32 million in damages related to intellectual property litigation against 10X Genomics, Bio-Rad said.

On a call with investors, Bio-Rad's CFO Ilan Daskal said that year-over-year growth occurred across all of the life science key product areas and the Q4 growth "also benefited from an easy compare of about $10 million revenue carry over to Q1 of 2020 related to the December, 2019 cyberattack." 

Daskal also noted that the firm's process media business within life sciences tends to fluctuate and grew in the double digits in the quarter, but "excluding process media sales and the $32 million damages award, the underlying life science business grew 64.6 percent on a currency-neutral basis verus Q4 of 2019." 

The firm's clinical diagnostics segment revenues were down approximately 5 percent year over year in the quarter to $359.6 million. On a currency-neutral basis, the segment declined 7 percent due to lower demand, which Bio-Rad attributed to the pandemic.

The firm announced that it received EUA from the FDA for a combined COVID-19, flu A/B test that can run on its CFX qPCR platforms as well as platforms from other providers. In January, Bio-Rad received EUA for its COVID RT-PCR assay kit.

Bio-Rad's net income for the quarter was $839.1 million, or $27.81 per share, compared to a net income of $553.5 million, or $18.31 per share, in the year-ago period. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS in Q4 2020 was $4.01, above the analysts' average of $3.29.

The company's R&D spending during the recently completed quarter increased 15 percent year over year to $65.8 million from $57.1 million, while its SG&A costs were up 2 percent to $219.1 million from $214.2 million.

For full-year 2020, Bio-Rad's revenues were up 10 percent to $2.55 billion from $2.31 billion in 2019, above the consensus Wall Street estimate of $2.43 billion. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues grew 10 percent year over year, Bio-Rad said.

On the call, Daskal said the firm estimated that Bio-Rad's sales related to COVID-19 were about $313 million.

Life science segment sales were $1.23 billion in 2020, an increase of about 39 percent compared to 2019. On a currency-neutral basis, sales in the segment grew 39 percent, as well.

Full-year clinical diagnostics revenues were $1.31 billion, down 7 percent from $1.41 billion in 2019 and down 7 percent on a currency-neutral basis, Bio-Rad said.

Company highlights in 2020 included the introduction of the integrated QX ONE Droplet Digital PCR System, a SARS CoV-2 standard for lab validation of COVID-19 testing, and the SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) Total Ab test, and the launch of the CFX Opus 96 and CFX Opus 384 Real-Time PCR Systems. The firm also acquired Celsee in 2020. 

Bio-Rad's 2020 net income was $3.81 billion, or $126.20 per share, compared to $1.76 billion, or $58.27 per share in 2019. Non-GAAP EPS was $10.52, above the analysts' average estimate of $9.81.

The company's R&D spending was up 12 percent year over year to $226.6 million from $202.7 million. Its SG&A costs were down 3 percent to $800.3 million from $824.6 million.

Bio-Rad exited 2020 with $662.2 million in cash and cash equivalents and $334.7 million in short-term investments.

The company anticipates currency neutral revenue growth of approximately 4.5 to 5.0 percent for 2021.

In Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq, Bio-Rad's stock was up approximately 4 percent percent to $667.91.

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