NEW YORK – Qiagen reported after the close of the market on Monday that its first quarter revenues rose 52 percent year over year, exceeding prior guidance and beating analyst estimates.
For the three months ended March 31, Qiagen posted $567.2 million in revenues compared to $372.1 million in the year-ago period, besting analysts' average estimate of $557.5 million. At constant exchange rates, or CER, Q1 revenues grew 48 percent year over year. Qiagen had previously guided for at least 45 percent year-over-year revenue growth at CER.
By product category, consumables and related revenues grew 53 percent to $498 million year over year, while instrument sales rose 49 percent to $69 million. By customer class, molecular diagnostics revenues increased 59 percent to $279 million, while life sciences revenues spiked 47 percent to $288 million.
In a statement, Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard noted that the company achieved 16 percent CER growth in sales of non-COVID-19-related products that represented 64 percent of total Q1 sales, or $364 million.
"We are pleased with trends showing that research laboratories around the world are increasingly returning to work and clinical labs are moving beyond COVID testing," Bernard said. "This progress underlines the point that Qiagen's business is COVID relevant, but not COVID dependent."
Elaborating on this in a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the earnings, Bernard noted that "demand for our product groups used in COVID testing overall remains at similar levels to what we saw at the end of 2020 — but we have seen this vary between regions. Beyond the pandemic, research labs have reopened, and diagnostic testing in other areas of healthcare is coming back into play."
Bernard added that sales for COVID-19-related product groups grew 186 percent at CER in Q1 to $203 million from $69 million in Q1 2020 and from $200 million in Q4 2020. He also noted, however, that the company expects this demand to slow down progressively in the second quarter and second half of this year.
Qiagen CFO Roland Sackers said on the earnings call that Qiagen's sample technologies product group grew 42 percent at CER to $227 million, driven by strong demand for DNA extraction kits and ongoing solid demand for automated RNA sample prep kits used in COVID-19 testing.
Diagnostic solutions rose 52 percent at CER to $150 million and involved molecular testing products for use in clinical healthcare, including QuantiFeron latent tuberculosis testing, which grew 22 percent at CER to $57 million in the quarter — a sharp improvement from the 20 percent CER decline reported in Q1 2020 and only 3 percent CER growth in Q4 2020, Sackers said.
Meanwhile, Qiagen's Q1 PCR/nucleic acid products for use in research and applied testing grew 84 percent at CER to $117 million, reflecting "an ongoing high level of COVID-19 sales, including in products used by other diagnostic companies" and "ongoing sales expansion of the QiAcuity digital PCR platform" launched in the second half of 2020.
Finally, the genomics/next-generation sequencing product group returned to growth after a challenging 2020, Sackers said, rising 17 percent at CER to $50 million in Q1, driven by clinical oncology applications for its bioinformatics products and contributions from the newly launched QiaSeq NGS portfolio for screening for COVID-19 viral variants.
Qiagen reported Q1 net income of $129.2 million, or $.56 per share, compared to net income of $39.8 million, or $.17 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $.66, besting analysts' average EPS expectation of $.63 and exceeding prior company guidance of $.60 to $.62.
Qiagen's Q1 R&D spending rose 36 percent to $47.4 million from $34.8 million a year ago, while its SG&A expenses jumped 19 percent to $147.6 million from $124.0 million.
The company exited Q1 with $787.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and $3.9 million in short-term investments.
Qiagen reaffirmed its previously provided outlook for net sales growth of 18 percent to 20 percent at CER and adjusted EPS of $2.42 to $2.46 at CER. The company noted that currency movements against the US dollar are now expected to create a positive impact of about 2 to 3 percentage points on net sales growth and of $.02 to $.03 per share on adjusted EPS for full-year 2021.
For the second quarter, Qiagen expects net sales growth of about 20 percent at CER from $443.3 million a year ago and adjusted EPS of $.62 to $.64 compared to $.55 in Q2 of 2020.
The company said it expects these results to reflect continued improvements in non-COVID-19-related products throughout the year, especially in the second quarter compared to a year ago, while Q2 COVID-19 product sales are expected to be in line with the year-ago period but softer year over year in the second half of 2021.
In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Qiagen shares were essentially flat at $47.75.