NEW YORK – Bio-Rad Laboratories said after the close of the market Thursday that its third quarter revenues increased 15 percent year over year driven by COVID-19-related gains in its PCR and digital PCR businesses.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, Bio-Rad reported revenues of $647.3 million compared to $560.6 million a year ago, well ahead of analysts' average estimate of $570.6 million.
Life Science segment revenues increased 50 percent to $324.0 million in the third quarter, driven primarily by sales of PCR and Droplet Digital PCR products, which experienced significant demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinical Diagnostics segment revenues fell 6 percent to $322.2 million year over year primarily due to lower demand for most product lines across all regions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a conference call recapping Q3 financial results, Bio-Rad CFO Ilan Daskal said that COVID-19-related product sales were estimated to be $98 million in the quarter. In the Life Science segment, he noted, the majority of year-over-year growth in the quarter was driven by core PCR products, Droplet Digital PCR, and process media, the latter seeing double-digit growth in the quarter. Excluding process media sales, Life Science grew 53 percent on a currency-neutral basis.
"We continue to be encouraged by our Droplet Digital PCR business, which is becoming more broadly adopted in wastewater testing as the gold standard," Daskal said. "Droplet Digital PCR is now being used at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Water Research Foundation, and more than two dozen labs globally for wastewater testing, including the state of Michigan, which is establishing a standardized and coordinated network of COVID-19 monitoring systems across the state."
In addition, Daskal noted, last month the company launched two new PCR systems, the CFX Opus 96 and the CFX Opus 384, "which strengthens our global response and contribution to the fight against the pandemic." Bio-Rad also introduced a related cloud-based instrument connectivity, data management, and analysis platform. "These new PCR systems, along with our Droplet Digital PCR offering, provide a complete solution for our customers," Daskal said.
Net income in Q3 was $1.31 billion, or $43.64 per share, compared to a net loss of $258.8 million, or $8.68 per share, a year ago. Net income and net loss for the third quarters of 2020 and 2019 were impacted by the recognition of changes in the fair market value of equity securities primarily related to Bio-Rad's holdings in Sartorius.
On an adjusted basis, net income in Q3 was $3.00 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.80 per share.
Bio-Rad's Q3 R&D spending rose 24 percent to $59.5 million from $47.9 million a year ago, while its SG&A expenses dipped 2 percent to $198.2 million from $201.6 million.
Bio-Rad exited the quarter with $840.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and $319.7 million in short-term investments.
After withdrawing previously stated annual revenue guidance when reporting its second quarter results earlier this year, on Thursday Bio-Rad said it believes full-year currency-neutral sales will be up 5.9 percent to 6.3 percent.