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Qiagen Reports 11 Percent Q3 Revenue Growth; Raises Full-Year Guidance

NEW YORK – Qiagen reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its third quarter revenues grew 11 percent year over year as growth in non-COVID-related product groups tempered an expected decline in COVID-19-related product sales.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Qiagen reported total revenues of $534.7 million, well above prior guidance for flat Q3 revenues of $483.8 million and beating analysts' average estimate of $435.6 million. At constant exchange rates (CER), Q3 revenues grew 10 percent year over year.

Qiagen said that non-COVID-related product group sales grew 17 percent at CER to $376 million, building on trends seen in the first half of the year, while COVID-19 product group sales declined 4 percent to $159 million.

"Our results were driven by better-than-expected sales in COVID-19 product groups, but also very strong trends in non-COVID demand," Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard said during a Thursday conference call recapping Q3 earnings.

"In the past we have seen these product groups inversely related: As COVID testing increased, demand from products used in regular research and testing was decreasing. However, in the third quarter this year we saw strong demand for Qiagen solutions across both areas," Bernard said.

"As we move through the pandemic, and COVID testing demands remain volatile, we are focused on executing on the sustainable growth of sales in our non-COVID product groups," he added. "So, we are extremely pleased with the 17 percent CER growth delivered by these groups in the third quarter."

By product type, consumables and related revenues grew 13 percent to $473 million, while instruments fell 3 percent to $62 million. By end market, molecular diagnostics revenues jumped 18 percent to $279 million, while life sciences revenues grew 4 percent to $256 million.

By specific product groups, sample technologies fell 5 percent to $202 million; diagnostic solutions grew 37 percent to $162 million; PCR/nucleic acid amplification revenues grew 3 percent to $98 million; genomics/next-generation sequencing sales shot up 44 percent to $53 million; and other revenues ticked up 1 percent to $19 million.

Within diagnostic solutions, QuantiFeron latent TB testing sales grew 49 percent to $79 million; QiaStat-Dx syndromic testing revenues edged up 2 percent to $15 million; NeuMoDx high-throughput molecular testing revenues ballooned 139 percent to $23 million; and other diagnostic revenues grew 9 percent to $44 million.

During the earnings call, Bernard noted that sales of the QiaStat-Dx platform are still being heavily driven by COVID testing, but Qiagen is in the process of expanding the test menu. He said that the company is on track to submit its gastrointestinal pathogen panel for regulatory approval in the US and launch a meningitis panel in Europe by the end of the year.

Earlier in the week the company also announced that it had received CE marking for a four-plex respiratory pathogen panel on the QiaStat-Dx (targeting influenza A/B, RSV, and SARS-CoV-2), adding to the platform's existing QiaStat-Dx Respiratory+ test, which detects and differentiates more than 20 respiratory targets, also including SARS-CoV-2.

"The four-plex [panel] is not to answer demand from the current QiaStat installed base," Bernard said. "The four-plex on QiaStat is to make sure that if there is a combination of a strong flu season together with a constant COVID-19, that we will offer a solution to customers that will not want to do a large-plex [panel], but just focus on the traditional respiratory winter pathogens: Flu A/B, RSV, and COVID, in this case."

Qiagen's Q3 net income was $133.1 million, or $.57 per share, compared to net income of $16.9 million, or $.07 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $.58, above previously stated guidance of $.52 to $.53 per share and beating analysts' consensus estimate of $.47 per share. Adjusted diluted EPS in the third quarter excluded a $30 million gain on the sale of milestone-related shares in Invitae that were received as part of Invitae's purchase of Qiagen's minority investment in ArcherDx.

The company's Q3 R&D costs jumped 34 percent to $48.3 million from $36.1 million, while its SG&A spending grew 10 percent to $143.3 million from $130.1 million.

Qiagen finished the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $617.5 million and short-term investments of $339.8 million.

The firm upgraded its outlook for full-year 2021 based on stronger-than-expected Q3 results. Net sales are now expected to grow at least 15 percent at CER compared to previous guidance of 12 percent at CER. Adjusted full-year EPS is now expected to be at least $2.48 compared to previous guidance of at least $2.42.

For the fourth quarter of 2021, revenues are expected to decline approximately 9 percent at CER, and adjusted EPS is expected to be at least $.60 at CER.