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Chembio Diagnostics Q1 Revenues Down 20 Percent

NEW YORK – Chembio Diagnostics reported after the close of the market on Monday that its first quarter revenues fell 20 percent year over year, largely due to a 14 percent decrease in product sales.

For the three months ended March 31, the point-of-care diagnostics company reported revenues of $6.9 million, down from $8.5 million a year ago, and missing the Wall Street analyst consensus estimate of $7.7 million.

Product revenues fell to $5.7 million from $6.6 million in Q1 2019, while R&D and grant revenues fell 47 percent to $907,687 from $1.7 million. License and royalty revenues rose 9 percent to $235,304 from $216,191.

"During the first quarter, we refocused our business strategy to address the escalating need for COVID-19 diagnostic tests," Chembio Executive Chairwoman Gail Page said in a statement.

The company developed a COVID-19 serological testing system called the DPP COVID-19 IgM/IgG System in a short time, she said, and received US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for it in April. It also began shipping the test to customers in the United States and Brazil.

Chembio said the system was recently selected by Stony Brook Medicine to identify COVID-19 survivors for a study on COVID-19 convalescent plasma therapy, and that it received a $4 million purchase order for the DPP COVID-19 system from Brazilian firm Bio-Manguinhos.

Chembio CEO Richard Eberly noted that the company is experiencing strong demand for the tests and is scaling production to fill it. "We believe the features and benefits offered by our DPP COVID-19 System will make it a preferred solution," he said.

The firm's Q1 net loss widened to $5.0 million, or $.29 per share, from $2.8 million, or $.16 per share, a year earlier, missing the analyst estimate for a loss per share of $.23.

Chembio's R&D expenses for the quarter fell 9 percent to $2.0 million from $2.2 million in Q1 2019, and its SG&A costs rose 5 percent to $4.2 million from $4.0 million a year ago.

The company ended the quarter with $11.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Chembio's shares fell more than 10 percent to $11 in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.