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Qiagen Q4 Revenues Grow 2 Percent as Firm Beats Estimates, Guidance

This story has been updated from a previous version to include commentary made by Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard in a Wednesday earnings call.

NEW YORK – Qiagen reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its fourth quarter revenues grew 2 percent year over year, beating previous guidance and analyst estimates on the top and bottom line.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, Qiagen reported revenues of $582.4 million compared to $571.2 million a year ago, and well above the Wall Street estimate of $461.3 million. At constant exchange rates (CER), Q4 revenues jumped 4 percent year over year, beating the outlook of a 9 percent CER decline provided by the company in November.

Qiagen said that Q4 growth was driven by high demand for COVID-19 test products as well as "good trends" in its non-COVID-related product portfolio.

By product type, consumables and related revenues grew 5 percent in Q4 to $517 million, while instrument revenue fell 16 percent to $65 million. By end market, molecular diagnostics revenues jumped 9 percent to $313 million, while life sciences revenues dropped 5 percent to $269 million.

Qiagen noted that its COVID-19-related products, accounting for approximately 31 percent of total sales in Q4, fell 9 percent year over year to $183 million, while non-COVID products grew 8 percent year over year to about $400 million.

By specific product groups, sample technologies revenues fell 7 percent in Q4 to $218 million, diagnostic solutions sales grew 9 percent to $173 million, PCR/nucleic acid amplification revenues grew 2 percent to $110 million, genomics/next-generation sequencing sales jumped 25 percent to $62 million, and other revenues ticked up 3 percent to $19 million.

Qiagen reported Q4 net income of $129.2 million, or $.56 per share, compared to $212.7 million, or $.91 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $.74, besting analysts' consensus estimate of $.53 and prior company guidance of at least $.60.

Research and development spending dropped 9 percent in Q4 to $42.1 million from $46.3 million, while SG&A expenses edged downward a fraction of a percent to $152.3 million from $153.1 million.

For full-year 2021, Qiagen amassed net sales of $2.25 billion, up 20 percent from $1.87 billion in 2020 and shattering analysts' expectation of $1.94 billion. At CER, 2020 net sales grew 19 percent, beating prior guidance of at least 15 percent CER growth.

By product type, consumables and related revenues grew 23 percent in 2021 to $1.99 billion, while instrument revenue grew 4 percent to $265 million. By end market, molecular diagnostics revenues jumped 27 percent to $1.14 billion, while life sciences revenues grew 15 percent to $1.11 billion.

Qiagen logged about $704 million in COVID-19-related product sales in 2021, up 14 percent from the prior year, while non-COVID product sales grew 24 percent to $1.55 billion, or 22 percent at CER. The company reported sales growth in all specific product groups in 2021.

"Our very solid results in the fourth quarter of 2021 capped a tremendous year for Qiagen," CEO Thierry Bernard said during a Wednesday earnings call. "The highlight was clearly the 22 percent growth at constant exchange rates in our non-COVID product portfolio, and this really underpins our confidence in double-digit growth for 2022 in these areas of our portfolio."

"Qiagen enters 2022 as a stronger, more focused, and balanced company," Bernard continued. "The last two years have been a period of implementing our strategy as a new management team. That strategy is focused on helping customers around the world gain access to valuable molecular insights from molecular research to clinical healthcare. We are targeting segments in the market with promising growth opportunities while making sure we execute quarter after quarter."

Qiagen reported net income of $512.6 million, or $2.21 per share, in 2021, compared to $359.2 million, or $1.53 per share, in 2020. Adjusted EPS of $2.65 beat analysts' consensus estimate of $2.22 and prior company guidance of at least $2.48 at CER.

The company's 2021 R&D spending ballooned 27 percent to $190.0 million from $149.1 million in 2020, while its SG&A spending grew 11 percent to $584.5 million from $525.4 million.

Qiagen finished the year with $880.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $184.8 million in short-term investments.

The company initiated 2022 full-year guidance with expectations for at least $2.07 billion in sales at CER, which would be down from 2021 sales of $2.25 billion; and adjusted EPS of at least $2.05, compared to 2021 EPS of $2.65. These projections are based on expectations for double-digit CER growth in non-COVID product groups, but for a significant year-over-year decline in COVID-19 product group sales due to expected uncertainty around the pandemic.

"Our outlook for 2022 calls for strong growth in sales of our non-COVID portfolio," Bernard said during the earnings call. "As we have done in 2021, we take a conservative view on COVID-19 testing demand trends. Given the volatile trends expected for 2022, we anticipate a significant decline in those sales compared to 2021. Our focus in 2022, as we've said before, is clearly on the non-COVID portfolio [to deliver growth], while remaining ready, as ever, [for] the global response to the pandemic however it may develop."

For Q1 2022, net sales are expected to grow at least 7 percent at CER from $567.2 million in the year-ago quarter, while adjusted EPS is expected to be at least $.72 at CER compared to $.66 a year ago.

In mid-morning Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Qiagen were up about 3 percent at $50.71.