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Meridian Bioscience Fiscal Q4, FY15 Revenues Show Modest Growth

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Meridian Bioscience today reported its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year revenues grew 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based molecular diagnostics manufacturer saw fourth quarter revenue increase from $46.7 million to $47.1 million, edging out analysts' consensus estimate of $46.6 million.

Its net earnings increased to $8.5 million compared to $8.2 million in fiscal Q4 of 2014, while its earnings per share were constant year-over-year at $.20. It fell just shy of the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.21 per share.

"Both revenues and earnings met company-provided guidance despite strong negative currency currents throughout the year and some incremental state tax and legal expenses that dampened earnings," John Krautler, Meridian's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

The firm's Diagnostics segment saw slight growth for the quarter from $34.4 million to $34.8 million, while revenues in the Life Science segment were flat at $12.3 million year over year.

In fiscal Q4, Meridian's R&D expenses declined to $2.9 million from $3.4 million, while its SG&A expenses rose slightly to $13.6 million from $13.1 million.

For the full fiscal year, the firm reported a revenue increase of 3 percent, or 6 percent at constant currency, increasing to $194.8 million from $188.8 million in 2014. It beat analysts' consensus estimate of $194.4 million.

The firm's net earnings for the year also increased from $34.7 million in FY 2014 to $35.5 million in FY 2015, while its EPS increased to $.85 from $.83 in the previous year, and missed the consensus estimate by a penny. 

For the fiscal year, R&D expenses were constant at $12.6 million, while SG&A spending was up slightly to  $53.2 million from $52.3 million.

Overall, the firm's Diagnostics business reported 3 percent growth for the year. This was driven by Meridian's Illumigene molecular diagnostics line, foodborne testing, and Helicobacter pylori products, which grew on a constant currency basis by 11 percent, 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively.

The Life Science segment also showed 3 percent growth, but 7 percent constant currency growth in the firm's Bioline molecular products was reduced to 1 percent on a reported basis for the year. The immunoassay business, meanwhile, increased 6 percent due to success in penetrating the market in China, the firm said.

Meridian noted that there are now 1,465 Illumigene customers. It added 38 new labs and 78 new assays for the platform during the quarter, including a herpes simplex 1 and 2 assay the firm launched in July. It expects to launch a molecular malaria test in January 2016, with scientific posters to be presented this month. The firm also noted that it launched two new Bioline products that appeal to next-gen sequencing and microRNA researchers.

Meridian ended the year with $50 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company reaffirmed its full-year fiscal 2016 guidance of revenues between $195 million and $200 million and EPS between $.86 and $.90.

Meridian also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.

In Thursday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Meridian were up 2 percent at $19.82.