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Meridian Bioscience Preliminary FY2017 Revenues Beat Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Meridian Bioscience issued preliminary fiscal year 2017 earnings before the opening of the market today, reporting a 2 percent year-over-year increase in revenues.

Meridian expects revenues of $200.5 million for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017, including fourth quarter revenues of $49.5 million. Non-GAAP earnings per share should be in the $.66 to $.67 range for the year, according to the firm.

The firm had previously issued guidance for adjusted EPS in the range of $.64 to $.69 on expected revenues of between $193 million and $199 million. Wall Street analysts had expected FY2017 revenues of $198.4 million for the year, earnings per share of $.67, and revenues of $47.3 million for Q4.

The company attributed its results to efforts over the past 15 months to strengthen its US diagnostics business and stabilization in its core diagnostics product families of H. pylori and food testing.

In the quarter, the firm's life science units performed well, it said, with the Bioline molecular component unit growing 9 percent and the immunoassay component and reagent unit growing 18 percent in the quarter. The firm launched a new line of immunoassays primarily for the international market, called TruQuick, this year.

Revenues in its Magellan business were down 7 percent, the firm noted, a result it attributed to  a large international order that occurred in the prior year. Meridian continued to see a steady stream of Magellan LeadCare II analyzer placements during the quarter, it said. The Magellan business unit is expected to deliver high single-digit to low double-digit growth going forward, with continued LeadCare II penetration in pediatric and Ob-Gyn offices, along with international growth, Meridian said. It also expects to complete development of a new assay platform to provide improved lead testing and additional assay menu for the pediatric and Ob-Gyn physician office market.

The firm noted that it is working closely with the US Food and Drug Administration to strengthen its quality systems since issues arose after inspections of the Magellan Billerica, Massachusetts facility that led to a product recall

Meridian also has several new product development efforts underway which are driving higher levels of research and development spending, it said. This includes a new diagnostic platform called Curian, a novel combined C. difficile Toxins A/B and GDH test, and a molecular test on the illumigene platform for cytomegalovirus in newborns, all of which it anticipates launching in late fiscal 2018. The company also plans to complete development on its H.pylori/Clarithromycin resistance assay during fiscal 2018 and enter clinical trials in early 2019.

For 2018, Meridian now expects revenues to grow at 3 percent to 6 percent, to about $207 million to $212 million, with diluted EPS of $.59 to $.62. Non-GAAP adjustments include CEO transition costs, with John Krautler retiring and Jack Kenny stepping in, and litigation costs associated with protecting intellectual property. Analysts, on average, have anticipated revenues of $202.4 million for 2018, and earnings per share of $.68.

Following the preliminary earnings release, Meridian's shares were up a fraction of a percent at $15.27 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.