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Qiagen Reports 38 Percent Q4 Revenue Growth; Beats Analyst Estimates, Prior Guidance

This article has been updated from a previous version to include comments made by Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard in an earnings call Wednesday morning.

NEW YORK – Qiagen reported after the close of the market Tuesday fourth quarter revenue growth of 38 percent, driven by COVID-19-related sales, as the company beat Wall Street analyst estimates on the top and bottom line.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, Qiagen reported total revenues of $571.2 million compared to $413.5 million a year ago. On average, analysts had expected Q4 revenues of $548.9 million.

On an adjusted basis and at constant exchange rates (CER), Q4 revenues rose 36 percent year over year, exceeding guidance provided by the company in December for 32 percent growth.

By product type, consumables and related revenues jumped 36 percent to $494 million, while instrument revenues spiked 57 percent to $77 million. By customer class, Q4 molecular diagnostics revenues grew 45 percent to $287 million while life sciences sales increased 32 percent to $284 million.

By product group, sample technologies grew 59 percent to $236 million in Q4; diagnostic solutions increased 37 percent to $159 million; PCR/nucleic acid amplification revenues grew 85 percent to $108 million; genomics/next-generation sequencing revenues fell 9 percent to $50 million; and other product revenues dropped 50 percent to $18 million.

In Q4, products related to COVID-19 ballooned nearly fivefold year over year to $200 million and represented 35 percent of total sales, while all other, non-COVID-19-related product revenues were essentially flat at $371 million.

"Our results for the fourth quarter represented the best quarterly performance of 2020, and once again above the outlook we had set for sales and earnings growth over 2019," Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard said in a statement. "We experienced further improvements in non-COVID areas of the portfolio along with very strong demand for product groups addressing the critical demand for COVID-19 testing."

In a conference call on Wednesday recapping Qiagen's earnings, Bernard elaborated that Q4 represented "the strongest year-on-year growth in sales in 2020, and also a very strong sequential improvement from the second and third quarters of the year."

He further noted that the results "underpin once again that Qiagen is COVID-19 relevant, but Qiagen is not COVID-19 dependent. ... Throughout the year, we continued to innovate in anticipation of changing testing demands, and overcome challenges in the market as the pandemic evolved. Moving as rapidly as possible, our teams developed over 10 new solutions for use in the pandemic, and … all of those new solutions have applications beyond the pandemic."

Bernard also noted that another COVID-19 testing solution, the QiaReach SARS-CoV-2 antigen test, will be resubmitted to the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization in the first quarter of this year. "We have resolved a chemistry issue, and are now working on new datasets for the resubmission," Bernard said. "The decision to withdraw the submission was made on our side to proactively address the issue that we found, and further improve the performance of the test."

Qiagen reported Q4 net income of $212.7 million, or $.91 per share, compared to $44.9 million, or $.19 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $.68, besting analysts' consensus estimate of $.65.

Qiagen's Q4 R&D costs jumped 36 percent to $46.3 million from $34.0 million a year ago, while its SG&A spending grew 24 percent to $153.1 million from $123.6 million.

For full-year 2020, Qiagen's revenues grew 23 percent to $1.87 billion from $1.53 billion in 2019, beating analysts' estimate of $1.85 billion. On an adjusted basis, full-year revenue growth was also 23 percent.

By product type, consumables and related revenues grew 19 percent to $1.62 billion in 2020, while instrument revenues jumped 48 percent to $255 million. Bernard noted during the call that Qiagen placed a total of 3,300 new instruments across all product categories in 2020.

By customer class, full-year molecular diagnostics revenues grew 23 percent to $904 million while life sciences sales increased 22 percent to $966 million.

By product group, sample technologies grew 47 percent to $804 million; diagnostic solutions fell 1 percent to $461 million; PCR/nucleic acid amplification sales grew 62 percent to $364 million; genomics/NGS fell 10 percent to $166 million; and other product sales fell 26 percent to $77 million.

In 2020, Qiagen reported $618 million in revenues from COVID-19-related product groups, a 331 percent increase over 2019, and these products made up 33 percent of total sales. Meanwhile, non-COVID-19-related product sales fell 9 percent year over year to $1.25 billion.

Qiagen reported full-year net income of $359.2 million, or $1.53 per share, compared to a net loss of $41.5 million, or $.18 per share, in 2019. Adjusted EPS for 2020 was $2.15, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $2.11.

Qiagen's full-year R&D spending fell 5 percent to $149.1 million from $157.5 million, while its SG&A expenses spiked 4 percent to $525.4 million from $504.2 million.

Qiagen finished 2020 with $598.0 million in cash and cash equivalents and $117.2 million in short-term investments.

The company reaffirmed its full-year 2021 outlook provided in December for adjusted net sales growth of about 18 to 20 percent and adjusted EPS of $2.42 to $2.46. Qiagen said it expects these results to reflect ongoing strong demand for COVID-19 test solutions at least for the first half of the year, as well as continued improvements in other areas of its portfolio for the year.

For the first quarter of 2021, Qiagen expects adjusted net sales growth of at least 45 percent from $372.1 million in the year-ago period, and adjusted EPS of $.60 to $.62 compared to $.34 in Q1 2020.