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Meridian Bioscience Reports Third Quarter And Nine Months Operating Results, Declares Regular Cash Dividend, And Reaffirms Fiscal 2014 Guidance

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) today:
  • reported fiscal 2014 third quarter and first nine months net sales of $47.2 million and $142.1 million, respectively, flat and an increase of 2%, respectively, from the same periods of the prior fiscal year;
  • reported third quarter operating income of $13.1 million, a decrease of 16% from the same period of the prior fiscal year;
  • reported nine months operating income of $40.4 million, a decrease of 8% from the same period of the prior fiscal year;
  • reported third quarter net earnings of $8.8 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, decreases of 13% compared to the fiscal 2013 third quarter;
  • reported first nine months net earnings of $26.6 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, decreases of 8% and 9%, respectively, compared to the same period of fiscal 2013;
  • declared the regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 (annual indicated rate of $0.80 per share), a 5% increase over the regular quarterly rate for fiscal 2013; and
  • reaffirmed its current 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 June 30,
    Nine Months Ended June 30,
2014   2013   % Change 2014   2013   % Change
Net Sales $ 47,212 $ 47,108 - % $ 142,140 $ 139,724 2 %
Operating Income 13,132 15,699 -16 % 40,424 44,043 -8 %
Net Earnings 8,835 10,159 -13 % 26,561 28,882 -8 %
Diluted Earnings per Share $ 0.21 $ 0.24 -13 % $ 0.63 $ 0.69 -9 %
June 30,
2014 2013
Cash and Equivalents $ 39,285 $ 40,363
Working Capital 96,507 88,875
Shareholders’ Equity 161,820 151,266
Total Assets 178,763 170,991


John A. Kraeutler, Chief Executive Officer, said, “The third fiscal quarter was in-line with our most recently updated guidance, and reflects the increasing complexity of the market, and an expanding competitive climate. Our strategic growth drivers were mixed in their contributions with the more significant increases coming from our illumi gene ® molecular products, +9%, our H. pylori category, +9%, and the Bioline molecular components business growing by 6%. Our new illumi gene Pertussis test contributed $227,000 of revenue for the quarter and is now in use by approximately 80 customers in its first 90 days post-launch. During the quarter we added 30 new illumi gene customers and a total of 94 new assays were installed on both new and existing systems. Despite these highlights, our legacy C. difficile products continued to decline gradually; new competition in the foodborne category, somewhat exacerbated by purchasing patterns, resulted in a 5% quarter over quarter decline; and our core Life Science business faced a difficult year ago comparison.

“Tactically, R&D will continue to focus upon our illumi gene molecular technology platform and the expansion of its menu to include HSV I & II and gonorrhea/chlamydia which are expected to launch in the first half of FY 2015. In addition, we are evaluating multiple new technologies, both molecular and non-molecular, that can expand our menu of infectious disease tests while adding greater workflow simplicity. Going forward we will continue investing in the global expansion of our Life Science business which has already yielded material opportunities in China and surrounding markets.”

William J. Motto, Executive Chairman, stated, “We are very pleased that Dee Ellingwood has joined Meridian's Board of Directors. At Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center since 1997, Mr. Ellingwood previously served as Senior Vice President of Planning and Business Development, developing institutional strategy and leading organizational initiatives to pursue the institution's vision to be the leader in improving child health. Previously, Mr. Ellingwood served as the Vice President of Network Development, Planning and Managed Care for Spohn Health System, a Catholic-based integrated health system in Corpus Christi, Texas. As a loaned executive from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, he is leading the Collective Impact on Health planning and processes to establish community backbone functions and drive the initiative toward achieving the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs. We welcome Mr. Ellingwood to our Board and look forward to his contributions.”

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