Quidel estimated revenue at $374 million to $376 million, more than double the $174.7 million of the year-earlier quarter.
A survey of analysts by FactSet produced a consensus first-quarter estimate of $465.7 million.
At last check Quidel shares were trading 7.8% lower at $112.69. They're down 32% in 2021 through Thursday's close.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic response evolved, the operating environment was fluid, making it difficult to predict testing demand with certainty,” President and Chief Executive Douglas Bryant said in a statement.
“In combination with the COVID-19 volatility, there was no circulating influenza in the community, and as a result, revenues came in well below our previous expectations."
The company said it would not be providing a financial outlook for the full year due to the volatility in the market.
The San Diego company saw sales “well below” the consensus of Bloomberg analysts due to a “lack of reorders of COVID-19 tests,” which was caused by an overstocking of the test in fourth quarter, investment firm Piper Sandler says.
Piper Sandler also cited the lower influenza-related revenue. The investment firm cut its price target 47% to $140.
“Management also assumed [the company] would sign [a] large employer contract, now expected in coming weeks, while expected government funding for school testing did not materialize" in the first quarter, analyst Steven Mah said in a note.
“All in, we are disappointed with management continuing to ‘count their chickens before they hatch’ by including large events into guidance commentary despite limited visibility,” he added.
Quidel on Thursday unveiled an agreement under which McKesson will distribute its QuickVue At-Home over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests.
And Mah said the stock has upside potential due to “large-scale surveillance testing to safely reopen schools and the economy.”