This story has been updated to include investment analyst perspectives.
NEW YORK – Quidel on Thursday reported preliminary fourth quarter revenues of $808 million to $810 million, a more than fivefold increase from $152.2 million a year ago. Nevertheless, the firm's stock declined on the Nasdaq, which analysts suggested was due to revenues coming in below expectations.
The firm had previously said it expected Q4 revenue to be higher than $800 million, but shy of $900 million. On average, analysts were expecting Q4 revenues of around $820 million. The expected Q4 revenues represent an approximately 70 percent increase over the third quarter.
"Due to the hard work and dedication of our people, we had another record quarter, and our best year yet," Douglas Bryant, Quidel's president and CEO, said in a statement.
The firm continues to see strong demand for its COVID-19 diagnostic products, Bryant said, adding that open orders at the end of 2020 amounted to approximately one quarter of what the firm shipped the entire year.
Quidel has increased the manufacturing scale of its QuickVue and Sofia tests, and expects to scale further from a current combined 13 million tests per month to over 70 million tests per month by the end of 2021, Bryant said.
The firm shipped more than 23,000 Sofia analyzers to new and existing customers in 2020, with more than 14,000 shipped in Q4 alone. It also expects another 20,000 Sofia analyzers will be shipped to new customers in the first quarter.
Quidel expects to issue full financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020 in February. The firm will also present at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on Jan. 13.
In Thursday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq, Quidel stock was down 8 percent to $187.82, but had rebounded late Friday morning to $203.47.
Investment analyst Brian Weinstein at William Blair told clients in a note that the selloff was likely the result of investors "trying to piece together why the upside to guidance was not higher, given the bullish tone from management and the still raging demand for testing."
Stephen Mah at Piper Sandler told investors that Quidel executives have estimated December revenue could have been $40 to $50 million higher had US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorizations for its QuickVue antigen and Solana SARS-CoV-2 test come earlier. Mah reiterated, "Quidel remains one of our top picks."