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Chembio Diagnostics Names New CEO, Reports Q4 Revenues

NEW YORK – Chembio Diagnostics reported after the close of the market Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues rose 4 percent year over year.

The firm also appointed Richard Eberly, formerly a managing director at private equity firm Solid Rock Principled Capital, as its new CEO.

The Hauppauge, New York-based firm reported total Q4 revenues of $6.9 million, short of analysts' average estimate for $8.6 million. The firm said that its Q4 net product revenues were $5.5 million, and its license, royalty, R&D, and grant revenues were $1.4 million.

In a statement, Chembio Diagnostic said that its Q4 revenues were down nearly 12 percent year over year, but on a conference call to discuss the firm's financial results, Chembio Diagnostics Interim CEO Gail Page said that its Q4 revenues increased 4 percent year over year.

Further, the company did not provide Q4 2019 revenue figures on Thursday, but a year ago, it reported revenues of $7.6 million for Q4 2018, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 9 percent for the recently completed quarter.

The company did not explain the discrepancy in the figures.

Chembio's net loss for the quarter widened to $3.9 million, or $.23 per share, compared to a loss of $3.2 million, or $.20 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2018. Analysts on average expected a net loss of $.24 per share.

The firm's Q4 R&D expenses were $2.0 million, down 29 percent from $2.8 million the prior year, while its SG&A expenses increased by $500,000, or 15 percent, compared to the prior year period, the firm said. The increase in selling, general and administrative expenses resulted primarily from the acquisition of Chembio Diagnostics Germany, higher non-cash equity compensation costs, and rent and other costs related to leasing a new facility in Hauppauge, New York, it added.

For full year 2019, Chembio's total revenues were down slightly year over year to $34.5 million from $34.6 million. Net product sales rose 3 percent to $28.8 million from $27.9 million, while license and royalty revenues were down slightly to $938,753 from $948,773, and R&D and grant revenues decreased 18 percent year over year to $4.7 million from $5.7 million.

Chembio's net loss for 2019 climbed to $13.7 million, or $.81 per share, from $7.9 million, or $.54 per share, for FY 2018.

Its 2019 R&D expenses were flat year over year at $8.5 million, while its SG&A spending jumped 45 percent to $16.1 million from $11.1 million.

Chembio finished the year with $18.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company noted that it has entered a worldwide strategic partnership with LumiraDx to develop point-of-care diagnostic tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and IgM and IgG antibodies to the coronavirus on both firm's diagnostic platforms.

Chembio said that Eberly will be a nominee for election as a director at its annual meeting of stockholders. Page, a Chembio director who has served as its interim CEO since early January, will continue in an advisory role for 90 days to assist in the leadership transition.