Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (LH) third-quarter earnings rose 17% amid cost controls and continued growth of its esoteric testing business, and the results beat Wall Street's views.
LabCorp, one of the world's largest diagnostic-testing companies, has relied on acquisitions for growth in recent years. LabCorp in August completed its $106.7 million acquisition of Monogram Biosciences Inc., which makes products to help guide and improve the treatment of serious diseases such as cancer.
LabCorp has continued to see operating results improve on strong growth in its genomic and esoteric business. Rival Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) posted better-than-expected third-quarter results on Tuesday, on strong overall demand for diagnostic testing and a much-smaller drop in drug-testing sequentially.
For the third quarter, LabCorp reported a profit of $131.4 million, or $1.21 a share, up from $111.9 million, or $1 a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as restructuring charges, earnings were up at $1.22 from $1.10.
Revenue increased 4.4% to $1.19 million, as testing volume edged up 0.7%. Excluding the consolidtion of its Canada joint venture revenue was up 4.3%.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of $1.15 on revenue of $1.18 billion.
Gross margin rose to 42% from 40.7%.
Labcorp adjusted its 2009 earnings forecast to reflect 8 cents a share dilution related to its acquisition of Monogram Biosciences Inc. in August.
Shares closed Wednesday at $68.85 and didn't trade premarket.
-By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com;