Qiagen forecasts profit above estimates as non-COVID businesses rebound

(Reuters) -Diagnostics company Qiagen on Tuesday projected 2022 profit above market estimates, signaling that a rebound in its non-COVID businesses would offset a drop in coronavirus testing demand.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of a testing company Qiagen is seen as Economy Minister Andreas Pinkwart and Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann of the German state Northrhine Westphalia visit Qiagen’s facility, in Hilden, Germany, September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

Share of the company rose nearly 6% in extended trading as it also surpassed analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter sales.

Demand has picked up for Qiagen’s regular diagnostic tests and the services it provides to pharmaceutical and laboratory customers in the past few quarters after surging COVID-19 cases and accompanying curbs pressured sales earlier in the pandemic.

That has helped cut the company’s dependence on its ultra-rapid, portable and PCR coronavirus tests, whose sales have been difficult to predict due to the volatility in infections.

Qiagen said on Tuesday it expected a significant decline in COVID-19 product sales this year, following similar commentary from clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics and a cautious forecast from rival test maker Abbott Labs.

In the last three months of 2021, sales of its non-COVID product rose 10% to $400 million at constant exchange rates. Sales of its QuantiFERON tuberculosis test rose 29% to $74 million.

“Going into 2022, we are optimistic about opportunities in the research environment … as well as robust trends in regular clinical testing for molecular diagnostics,” Chief Executive Officer Thierry Bernard said.

Qiagen expects double-digit growth in the non-COVID product category this year on a currency-adjusted basis.

It projected 2022 net sales of at least $2.07 billion and adjusted earnings per share of at least $2.05 at constant exchange rates.

Analysts on average were expecting sales of $2.05 billion and profit of $2.03 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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