Quest Diagnostics Sees Slowdown in COVID-19 Testing in Fourth Quarter

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A trial  conduit  labelled "COVID-19 Test positive" is seen successful  this illustration representation   taken connected  March 10, 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

A trial conduit labelled "COVID-19 Test positive" is seen successful this illustration representation taken connected March 10, 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Quest Diagnostics Inc. connected Thursday warned that request for COVID-19 molecular testing volition dilatory down done the extremity of 2021 arsenic infections decline, but a betterment successful its halfway investigating concern volition apt cushion the blow.

Shares of the U.S. laboratory reversed people and fell 3.5 percent to $141.75 successful aboriginal trading aft it said it expects to grounds astir 50,000 molecular tests per time successful the 4th quarter. The institution averaged 83,000 tests a time successful the 3rd quarter.

COVID-19 investigating volumes successful the United States had slumped successful the archetypal fractional of this year, but request roseate erstwhile again successful caller months owed to the dispersed of the Delta variant, starring employers and schools to instrumentality strict screening programs.

As a result, Quest raised its yearly gross and nett forecasts connected Thursday aft it bushed third-quarter estimates for quarterly results.

The company, however, said the mean trial volumes person declined astir 10 percent truthful acold successful October, compared with 3rd quarter-end and volition autumn further.

“While COVID investigating has been powerfully contributing to growth, we expect our basal direct-to-consumer investigating gross to much than treble this year,” Quest Chief Executive Officer Stephen Rusckowsk said.

The comments travel a time aft rival diagnostic institution Abbott Laboratories besides raised its net forecast for the twelvemonth arsenic request for COVID-19 tests, particularly accelerated testing, rebounded.

Quest raised its full-year nett outlook to $13.50 to $13.90, from $11.65 to $12.35. Analysts connected an mean estimation $11.93.

Excluding items, Quest earned $3.96 per stock for the 3rd 4th ended Sept. 30, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.88, according to Refinitiv data.

By Dania Nadeem and Carl O’Donnell

Reuters

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