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Laboratory Corporation Beats Estimate

Strong revenue and volume growth helped push earnings up slightly in the first quarter.

Once these most recent quarterly results are finalized, they will be run through Ratings' model and our ratings will be adjusted accordingly. To keep up to date on all of our ratings, visit Ratings Screener.

On April 23, 2009,

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings


reported a 1.9% increase in its Q1 FY09 earnings, helped by strong revenue and volume growth. Net income attributable to the company for the quarter increased to $132.80 million or $1.22 per share from $130.30 million or $1.14 per share in Q1 FY08. The latest quarterly earnings beat the most recent consensus estimate of $1.17 per share.

Revenue increased 4.8% to $1.16 billion from $1.10 billion in the previous year's quarter. Testing volume, measured by accessions, increased 3.9%, and price inched up 0.8% over Q1 FY08. Excluding the consolidation-related charges of the joint venture, revenue increased 5.9%, volumes grew 2.6%, and revenue per accession rose 3.2%. Cost of sales spiked 5.3% to $666.30 million from $632.70 million. Selling, general, and administrative expenses increased 8.4% to $233.80 million from $215.60 million. Net cash flow from operations advanced 18.4% to $208.90 million from $176.50 million.

LH became the first laboratory to offer HTV PCR testing using a newly FDA-approved assay, the Roche's COBAS(R) AmpliPrep/COBAS(R) TaqMan(R) HCV test used as an aid in managing HCV-infected patients undergoing antiviral therapy. Moreover, the company signed an agreement with Duke University for LabCorp's biorepository.

Looking ahead to FY09, LabCorp anticipates that its earnings per share will be in the range of $4.75 to $4.95, excluding restructuring and other special charges and share repurchase activity after December 31, 2008. The company also expects revenue growth of 2.0% to 4.0%. In addition, the company expects operating cash flow, excluding any transition payments to UnitedHealthcare, of approximately $800.00 million and capital expenditures of around $130.00 million.