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Meridian Bioscience Reports Second Quarter 2014 Operating Results And Revises Fiscal 2014 Guidance

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO):


Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) today:
  • reported record fiscal 2014 second quarter and first six months net sales of $50.1 million and $94.9 million, respectively, increases of 6% and 2%, respectively, from the same periods of the prior fiscal year;
  • reported second quarter operating income of $15.7 million, an increase of 3% from the same period of the prior fiscal year;
  • reported six months operating income of $27.3 million, a decrease of 4% from the same period of the prior fiscal year;
  • reported second quarter net earnings of $10.3 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, an increase of less than 1% and flat, respectively, compared to the fiscal 2013 second quarter;
  • reported first six months net earnings of $17.7 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, decreases of 5% and 7%, respectively, compared to the same period of fiscal 2013;
  • declared the regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 (indicated rate of $0.80 per share), a 5% increase over the regular quarterly rate for fiscal 2013; and
  • revised downward its fiscal 2014 guidance of per share diluted earnings to between $0.85 and $0.90 on net sales of $190 million to $195 million.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (UNAUDITED) In Thousands, Except per Share Data
    Three Months Ended March 31,     Six Months Ended March 31,
2014     2013     % Change 2014     2013     % Change
Net Sales $ 50,134 $ 47,265 6 % $ 94,928 $ 92,616 2 %
Operating Income 15,666 15,253 3 % 27,292 28,344 -4 %
Net Earnings 10,300 10,249 - % 17,726 18,723 -5 %
Diluted Earnings per Share $ 0.24 $ 0.24 - % $ 0.42 $ 0.45 -7 %
March 31,
2014 2013

Cash and Equivalents $ 38,213 $ 38,594
Working Capital 96,128 85,477
Shareholders’ Equity 160,332 148,354

Total Assets
178,155 165,987


John A. Kraeutler, Chief Executive Officer, said, “While much of the anticipated rebound in revenues from the first quarter did happen, it fell short of our second quarter projections. Overall organic revenues increased 6% compared with last year’s second quarter. Diagnostics sales grew by 2%, with illumigene ® molecular revenues rising by 23%, and H. pylori improving by 11%. Foodborne sales were flat for the second consecutive quarter due to competitive pressures, and influenza revenues were off by 18%. Due to seasonal weakness, for the first six months our immunoassay respiratory test sales are down nearly $3 million, period over period. Our Life Science business rebounded and reported a 20% increase in revenues during the quarter; with our core unit yielding a 24% improvement as orders that had been postponed in the first quarter cycled back into alignment. The primary growth drivers for Life Science included our MyTaq™, SensiFAST™, and ISOLATE products. Overall operating margins were strong, but slightly lower than anticipated due to increased costs from our Diagnostics unit, and lower gross profit margins in our Life Science unit compared to the prior year.

As mentioned, illumigene revenues grew by 23% reaching nearly $10 million, with double-digit increases in both illumigene Group A and illumigene Group B sales. illumigene C. difficile revenues also improved both quarter versus quarter and sequentially. As noted in our prior quarterly report, we continue to watch the hospital-associated infection (HAI) category closely as it appears to be losing some momentum due to a combination of reduced rates of infection, lower hospital admission rates and pricing pressure from increased competition. On March 25, 2014, we received FDA clearance to market our illumigene Pertussis (whooping cough) test. The market demand for this assay is strong and we have gained 36 accounts since clearance. We expect this product will provide growth in the second half of the fiscal year. Our total base of illumigene customers has reached 1,235, up from the 1,203 that we reported last quarter.

In late February we strengthened our leadership team with the hiring of Michael C. Shaughnessy as Executive Vice President and President, Meridian Global Diagnostics. Mike brings more than 32 years of experience in medical devices and diagnostics having held senior positions at Carter Wallace, Inc. and Corpak MedSystems. In this new role, Mike will lead and oversee the commercial efforts and resources of our Diagnostics business on a global basis. We welcome him to our leadership team and look forward to his contributions to our continued growth.”

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