Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (Meridian Bioscience) has reported net sales of $34.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, up 1%, compared with the net sales of $33.8 million in the year-ago quarter. It has also reported net earnings of $8.1 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with the net earnings of $7.4 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Fiscal 2009 guidance reaffirmed
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, management expects net sales to be in the range of $151 million to $156 million and per share diluted earnings to be between $0.86 and $0.90. The sales and earnings guidance provided in this press release does not include the impact of any acquisitions the company might complete during fiscal 2009.
The company’s financial condition is sound. At December 31, 2008, current assets were $99.9 million compared to current liabilities of $13.0 million thereby producing working capital of $86.9 million and a current ratio of 7.7. Cash and short-term investments on hand were $49.8 million and the company had 100% of its borrowing capacity available under its $30,000,000 commercial bank credit facility.
John A. Kraeutler, chief executive officer, said, “Our sales growth rate for the first quarter was challenged by the weakness of the Euro as well as shifts in ordering patterns in both the Diagnostics and Life Science businesses. Diagnostics sales were driven by our tests for C. difficile, H. pylori and food borne diseases. Respiratory test sales were weaker than the prior period due to the timing of flu test promotions. In Q1, our Tennessee facility produced strong operating income for the first time in five quarters, signaling a recovery in a key segment of our Life Science business.
“Operating efficiency was very robust and generated gross profit of 68% and operating income of 35%, driven by our favorable mix of products, better utilization in Tennessee, and our commitment to manufacturing automation.
“For the balance of 2009, we have confidence in the products and services that will drive our growth. We look forward to incremental contributions from several new international distributors, as well as from anticipated new product introductions including ILLUMIgene(TM) (LAMP). Moving forward, we will maintain a focus on executing our plans, restoring Life Science revenue growth, and improving our international performance.”
William J. Motto, executive chairman of the board, commented, “Fiscal 2009 promises to be another record setting year for both sales and earnings. We feel comfortable with guidance calling for net sales in the $151 million to $156 million range and per share diluted earnings between $0.86 and $0.90. New product introductions coupled with careful attention to cost control will continue to drive our operating performance. Our strong cash flow and balance sheet supports the cash dividend policy as well as potential acquisitions. We look forward to sharing more good news with you as fiscal 2009 unfolds.”