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Quidel Q1 Revenues More Than Double on COVID-19 Immunoassay Sales

NEW YORK – Quidel reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its first quarter revenues more than doubled year over year, driven by rapid antigen tests, particularly its COVID-19 tests.

For the three months ended March 31, revenues rose 167 percent to $1.0 billion from $375.3 million in Q1 2021, in line with the firm's preliminary estimates and beating analysts' average estimate of $891.0 million.

The San Diego-based firm attributed the increase to significantly increased sales of rapid immunoassay products, specifically QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 tests, Sofia Influenza + SARS, and Sofia Influenza tests.

"Our diverse suite of assays, increasing brand strength, and growing installed base of Sofia analyzers continue to propel our market expansion, broadening our post-pandemic opportunities," said CEO Douglas Bryant.

Rapid immunoassay product revenues increased by $655.1 million to $892.8 million from $237.7 million, primarily due to significant sales of QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 tests.

On a call with investors, Quidel CFO Randy Steward specified that the firm sold more than $126 million COVID tests in the first quarter, comprising 113 million QuickVue tests, 12 million Sofia tests, and more than two million COVID tests from other product categories.

Bryant further noted on the call that in Q1 Quidel shipped approximately 70 million QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID 19 tests to the federal government. The firm expects to ship a remaining 35 million tests in Q2 in order to fulfil its commitment to supply 108 million tests.

Cardiometabolic immunoassay revenues declined 25 percent in the quarter to $50.2 million from $66.6 million in the first quarter of 2021 due to the impact of the transition agreement with Beckman Coulter for Beckman's B-type Natriuretic Peptide assay business.

Molecular diagnostic solutions revenues declined 23 percent to $46.0 million from $60.3 million, while specialized diagnostics solutions increased 22 percent to $13.3 million from $10.9 million.

Quidel has launched the Savanna molecular diagnostics in Europe and plans to submit the instrument and a panel called RVP4, which tests for four respiratory viruses, to the US Food and Drug Administration next week for Emergency Use Authorization, Bryant said on the call. Quidel will also submit a 510(k) in July, with two more 510(k) panel submissions set for year end and three more submissions by the end of the first quarter in 2023, he said. "Meanwhile, our teams are hard at work scaling Savanna instrument production and transitioning to fully automated manufacturing," Bryant added.

Overall, total sales of COVID-19 products more than tripled to $836.1 million from $269.1 million in the first quarter of 2021, while total sales of Influenza products increased 82 percent to $89.1 million from $16.4 million.

Quidel's Q1 net income rose to $479.9 million, or $11.31 per share, from $178.1 million, or $4.09 per share, in Q1 2021. On an adjusted basis, the company posted earnings of $11.66 per share, well above the average Wall Street estimate of $9.89 per share.

The firm's Q1 R&D expenses rose 13 percent to $26.4 million from $23.3 million year over year, due to increased costs related to the development of the Savanna molecular diagnostic instrument. Quidel's SG&A expenses increased 65 percent to $88.9 million from $53.7 million in the prior-year period, the result of higher freight expense due to higher sales volume, higher product promotional spend, and higher compensation costs driven by increased headcount and performance during the quarter.

Quidel finished the first quarter with $1.28 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

In Thursday morning trading on the Nasdaq, Quidel shares were down 3 percent to $101.33.