Quest Diagnostics Sees 10% Slide in 1Q Profit Amid Bad Weather, Costs

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Hurt by severe weather and severance costs, Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) revealed on Wednesday a soft first-quarter profit, though the results just missed Wall Street expectations on higher testing volumes.

The Madison, N.J.-based leading provider of diagnostic testing posted income from continuing operations of $164 million, or $1 a share, compared with $182 million, or 99 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

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Earnings including special items, such as severe weather and costs for workforce reductions and acquisitions, were $141 million, or 86 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.8 billion, up 1% from the year-earlier period, driven by a 2% improvement in clinical testing volume. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected, on average, earnings of $1.01 a share on revenue of $1.81 billion.

“This was an important quarter for Quest Diagnostics,” Dr. Surya Mohapatra, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We completed our acquisition of Athena Diagnostics, and established the leading position in the neurology diagnostics market.”

Looking ahead, the company sees non-GAAP earnings in the range of $4.25 to $4.45 a share. Analysts are anticipating earnings of $4.44 a share. Quest Diagnostics expects revenue to grow about 2%.