Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) today provided the financial community with guidance regarding the Company’s fiscal 2012 sales and earnings estimates. Based on the Company’s business planning and budgeting activities for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, management expects net sales to be in the range of $183 to $192 million and per share diluted earnings to be between $0.85 and $0.89. The per share estimates assume an increase in average shares outstanding from approximately 41.3 million at fiscal 2011 year end to 41.5 million at fiscal 2012 year end. Net income is expected to increase between 20% and 30% from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012 excluding reorganization costs in 2011. The sales and earnings guidance provided in this press release is from expected internal growth and does not include the impact of any additional acquisitions the Company might complete during fiscal 2012.
On July 21 management revised guidance downward for fiscal year 2011 due primarily to continuing weakness in the Company’s core Life Science and European Diagnostics units. Management expects fiscal 2011 results will come in at the lower end of the current guidance range as we continue to support investments in illumigene ® and other new product development activities and as we work to restore growth in Europe and reduce operating costs in Life Science. We expect to drive revenue growth through our new illumigene platform with its multiple assays, along with our foodborne, H.pylori and Bioline products in 2012 and beyond.
John A. Kraeutler, Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our ability to grow revenues in fiscal year 2012 is based upon our first year success and continued optimism from our new, simple molecular platform illumigene. Our 2012 guidance includes full year revenues coming from illumigene C. difficile and revenues projected for illumigene Group B Strep, which is currently awaiting FDA clearance to market, based on a U.S. launch in the first quarter. illumigene Mycoplasma pneumoniae is expected to be launched ex-U.S. in the second quarter with only nominal sales revenues reflected in our 2012 guidance. illumigene Group A Strep is scheduled to begin beta trials at the end of the first quarter and no revenues are included in our estimates at this time. Our fifth addition to the illumigene platform, projected for the second half of fiscal 2012, will be a test for Bordatella pertussis/parapertussis, the cause of Whooping Cough. The reemergence of this disease is of great concern and its incidence is increasing and, as with illumigene Group A Strep, our guidance does not include any revenues from this test.
"Additional organic growth in our Diagnostics business is expected to be driven by our H. pylori tests that are used in the diagnosis of peptic ulcers and continued success coming from our foodborne tests for toxigenic E. coli and Campylobacter."Further, as a result of our efforts to realign our European Diagnostics unit, we have projected single-digit revenue growth. To further support our efforts in restoring real growth, the European Diagnostics unit will have a new, rapid C. difficile screening test to complement illumigene and a new test for Legionella. Both of these first-time opportunities are ideal for that region’s needs. "Organic revenue growth projections for Meridian Life Science are expected to be in the range of 5% to 6%, with our Bioline unit expected to sustain double-digit increases while the core Life Science unit anticipates a slight decline due to a slowing immunoassay demand profile.
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