NORCROSS, Ga., April 6, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immucor, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLUD), a global leader in providing automated instrument-reagent systems to the blood transfusion industry, today reported financial results for its fiscal 2011 third quarter ended February 28, 2011.
- Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 was $83.3 million, an increase of 4% from the prior year quarter.
- Gross margin was 70.8% in the quarter compared with 69.2% in the prior year quarter.
- Diluted earnings per share totaled $0.32 in the quarter compared with $0.28 for the same period last year.
- Cash flow from operations for the nine months ended February 28, 2011 was $73.7 million compared with $55.5 million in the prior year.
- Worldwide instrument orders for the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 were 31 Echo® orders and 39 NEO® orders. NEO is the Company's new high volume instrument that was recently launched worldwide.
"Given the global economic environment, our third quarter financial performance exceeded our expectations with year-over-year revenue growth and earnings expansion," stated Dr. Gioacchino De Chirico, Immucor's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Selected Product Revenue and Gross Margin
Consolidated revenue was $83.3 million in the current year quarter, an increase of approximately $2.9 million or 4% compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Revenue in the quarter was negatively impacted by approximately $0.4 million from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates as compared with the prior year quarter.
While reagent revenue in the current year quarter benefited from an increased number of ship cycles when compared with the prior year quarter, revenue continues to be negatively impacted by lower sales volume due to weaker industry demand in the U.S.
Consolidated gross margin was $59.0 million, or 70.8% of revenue, in the current year quarter compared with $55.7 million, or 69.2% of revenue, in the prior year quarter. The prior year quarter gross margin included the impact of approximately $1.8 million of costs related to the first phase of the Company's Quality Process Improvement Project, which was completed in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. There were no material external costs related to the Project in the current year quarter, which benefited gross margins. Gross margin in the current year quarter was negatively impacted by the mix of instrument-related revenue as well as more instruments expensed in the current year quarter compared with the prior year quarter.
Operating expenses in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by approximately $0.3 million or 1% when compared with the prior year quarter, primarily due to higher distribution expenses and higher research and development expenses offset by lower general and administrative expenses.
Summary of Instrument Orders
For the third quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company generated, on a worldwide basis, 31 Echo orders and 39 NEO orders. Year-to-date, the Company has generated 86 Echo orders worldwide and 83 NEO orders worldwide.
"Our new high volume NEO instrument delivers what we believe is the market's highest type-and-screen throughput, broadest test menu and superior workflow functionality. NEO continues to be positively received by customers worldwide," stated Dr. De Chirico. "For fiscal 2011, we expect to generate orders near the high end of our guidance range of between 80 orders and 120 orders worldwide for NEO."
"We have good momentum for our Echo instrument as lower volume laboratories appreciate the automation benefits specifically provided by Echo. We expect to generate orders near the low end of our guidance range of between 140 orders and 180 orders worldwide for Echo for fiscal 2011," stated Dr. De Chirico.
As of February 28, 2011, the Company had an instrument backlog of 95 Echos and 62 high volume instruments. This backlog represents orders where either the instruments have not been installed or the customer validation process has not been completed so the instruments were not generating recurring revenue at the expected annualized run rate at the end of the fiscal third quarter.
Fiscal 2011 Financial Guidance
The Company is narrowing its revenue expectations for fiscal 2011 and now expects consolidated revenue in the range of $328 million to $330 million. Consolidated gross margins are expected to be toward the top end of the previous guidance range of 69.5% to 71.0%, and diluted earnings per share are now expected to be in the range of $1.18 to $1.20, which exceeds previous expectations.
"We are encouraged by our performance in this difficult worldwide economic environment," stated Dr. De Chirico. "We remain focused on delivering value to our customers through our innovative product offering and believe our strategic focus on improving laboratory productivity and patient safety benefits customers, patients and shareholders."
Immucor, Inc. will host a conference call Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM (Eastern Time) to review these results. To participate in the telephone conference call, dial 1-888-324-9321 (Passcode: BLUD). The Company will also provide a live audio broadcast of the call via webcast. The webcast can be accessed at www.immucor.com in the "Investor Relations" section. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast of the call, a replay will be available shortly after completion of the call and will be archived on Immucor's website for approximately 60 days. Additionally, a replay of the call will be available for one week beginning at noon on April 7th by dialing 1-800-884-1527 (Passcode: 5870).
Founded in 1982, Immucor manufactures and sells a complete line of reagents and systems used by hospitals, reference laboratories and donor centers to detect and identify certain properties of the cell and serum components of blood prior to transfusion. Immucor markets a complete family of automated instrumentation for all of its market segments. For more information on Immucor, please visit our website at www.immucor.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains statements that are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and members of its management team with respect to the Company's future business operations as well as the assumptions upon which such statements are based. Forward-looking statements include specifically, but are not limited to: fiscal 2011 revenue projections, gross margin projections and fully diluted earnings per share projections as well as instrument order projections. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. In addition, results for one fiscal quarter are not necessarily indicative of results for any future period. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to: lower industry blood demand and the subsequent impact on the business; lower than expected demand for the Company's instruments, including the new NEO; the decision of customers to defer capital spending; the outcome of the administrative action ("notice of intent to revoke our biological license") received from the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"); customer reaction to the FDA action and the subsequent impact on the business; the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar versus any of the functional currencies in which the Company operates and its adverse impact on reported results; the unexpected change in the mix of instruments being purchased instead of acquired through other means, which could significantly change costs recognized in the period; the consequences of the recent natural disasters in Japan; the failure of customers to efficiently integrate the Company's instruments into their blood banking operations; increased competition in the sale of instruments and reagents, particularly in the United States; unanticipated operational problems that result in non-compliance with FDA regulations; the failure to effectively integrate BioArray operations into the Company's overall operations; product development obstacles including obstacles related to the development of the next generation automated instrument for the molecular immunohematology products; regulatory obstacles including obstacles in securing regulatory approval of molecular immunohematology products; the inability to hire and retain, and the unexpected loss of, key managers; changes in interest rates; the inability of the Company's Japanese subsidiary as well as our molecular immunohematology operations to attain expected revenue, gross margin and net income levels; the outcome of any legal claims or regulatory investigations known or unknown, including the ongoing investigation by the Federal Trade Commission; customer and shareholder class action lawsuits; the Company's inability to protect its intellectual property, particularly as to the molecular immunohematology products, or its infringement of the intellectual property of others; lower than expected market acceptance of the molecular immunohematology products; the unexpected application of different accounting rules; general economic conditions; and adverse developments with respect to the operation or performance of the Company, its products and its affiliates or the market price of its common stock. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated within this Press Release can be found in the Company's Risk Factor disclosures in its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended February 28, 2011 and its Form 10-K for the year ended May 31, 2010. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Immucor assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Michele Howard 770-441-2051