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Quest Diagnostics Preliminary Q4 Revenues Down 9 Percent

NEW YORK — Quest Diagnostics on Wednesday said that it expects to post a roughly 9 percent year-over-year drop in fourth quarter revenues, but a more than 14 percent jump in revenues for the full-year 2021.

Quest said that revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to be $2.74 billion, topping the Wall Street consensus estimate of $2.54 billion but down from $3.0 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Test volume increased a little more than 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021 versus the year-ago quarter, while total base testing volumes in the quarter — excluding COVID-19 testing — rose around 10 percent versus the pre-pandemic baseline of Q4 2019. COVID-19 testing volumes in the fourth quarter of 2021, which included around 7.9 million molecular tests and 700,000 serology tests, were down year over year, Quest said.

Fourth quarter earnings per share are anticipated to be $3.12 and would beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $3.10 per share.

For the full-year 2021, Quest said that revenues will likely be around $10.79 billion, up from $9.44 billion the year before. Analysts, on average, expect revenues of $10.56 billion for 2021.

Full-year 2021 earnings per share are expected to be $15.55, well over the consensus analyst estimate of $13.97.

Looking ahead, Secaucus, New Jersey-based Quest said it now expects to exceed previous adjusted earnings per share guidance for 2022 of $8.00 due to higher than anticipated current demand for COVID-19 testing services, expected growth in its base business, and the recently announced one-year delay of cuts to the Protecting Access to Medicare Act.

Complete fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results are set for release on Feb. 3.