Bio-Rad Laboratories Q1 net sales drop 3%; firm lowers full-year guidance

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Bio-Rad Laboratories on Thursday announced first-quarter net sales of $676.8 million, a decrease of 3% compared to $700.1 million for the first quarter of 2022.

For the quarter ended March 31, COVID-related sales were $2.6 million compared to approximately $45 million in the year-ago period. Excluding COVID-related sales, revenue increased 6% on a currency-neutral basis, Bio-Rad said.

Life Science segment net sales for the first quarter were $323.6 million, a year-over-year decrease of 7%. Excluding COVID-related sales, Life Science revenue grew 10% and was primarily driven by qPCR, Western blotting, and droplet digital PCR products.

Clinical Diagnostics segment net sales for the first quarter were $352.1 million, essentially flat compared to the same period in 2022. Excluding COVID-related sales, Clinical Diagnostics revenue increased 3% year over year on a currency-neutral basis, driven by strong demand for diagnostic instruments.

Q1 net income was $69 million, or $2.32 per share, compared to a loss of $3.37 billion, or a loss of $112.50 per share, in Q1 2022. The firm reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.34. The net income and loss amounts for the first quarter of 2023 and 2022 were primarily impacted by the recognition of changes in the fair market value of equity securities related to the holdings of the company’s investment in Sartorius.

“The expected decline in first-quarter COVID-related sales resulted in lower year-over-year total revenues; however, we are encouraged by continued underlying strength of our core business in Life Science and Clinical Diagnostics,” Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “While lingering effects of supply chain challenges continued to impact our operations during the quarter, we are working diligently through our elevated order backlog to meet customer demand.”

At the end of Q1, Bio-Rad had cash and cash equivalents of $464.1 million and short-term investments of $1.39 billion.

Bio-Rad updated its financial outlook for full-year 2023, saying it anticipates non-GAAP currency-neutral revenue growth of approximately 4.5% compared to its previous estimate of 6% to 7%. Excluding COVID-related sales, Bio-Rad estimates full-year 2023 non-GAAP currency-neutral revenue growth to be approximately 8.5% versus its prior guidance of 10% to 11%.

The company also updated its financial outlook for full-year 2025, presented at its 2022 Investor Day event on February 25. It now is targeting a currency-neutral, compounded annual average core revenue growth rate of approximately 8% between 2021 and 2025 compared to its previous target of approximately 8.9%. Core revenue is defined as currency-neutral, non-GAAP revenue that also excludes COVID-related sales.

Reacting to the financial results, investors on Friday sent Bio-Rad shares down more than 19% to $374.17 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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