Meridian Bioscience posts 1Q profit as it leaves Saco

Posted Jan. 25, 2012, at 6:26 p.m.

CINCINNATI — Diagnostic test maker Meridian Bioscience Inc. reported a 10 percent increase in its first-quarter profit Wednesday, but the company’s stock fell as the results fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Meridian said its net income grew to $6.6 million, or 16 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from $6 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time charges, the company said it earned 17 cents per share.

Analysts expected larger earnings of 19 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Its revenue rose 8 percent to $40.3 million from $37.3 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $43.3 million.

Meridian said its revenue rose 27 percent from its testing for C. difficile, a bacterium that can cause diarrhea and colon inflammation. Testing for food-borne diseases increased by 24 percent.

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2012 forecast, calling for a profit of 85 to 89 cents per share. That estimate excludes charges of a penny to 2 cents per share in plant consolidation costs. The company is consolidating its Saco, Maine, operations into its Tennessee facility. Meridian also forecast $183 million to $192 million in revenue.

Analysts expect Meridian to earn 84 cents per share and $184.2 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Shares of Meridian Bioscience fell $1.27, or 6.4 percent, to $18.54 in afternoon trading.

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