Alere falls as 3Q income disappoints Wall Street

Alere shares slide after 3rd-quarter adjusted income comes up well short of analyst estimates

Associated Press

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) -- Shares of medical diagnostics company Alere Inc. skidded Thursday after it posted third-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

Alere reported a loss of $9.2 million, or 11 cents per share, for the June-to-September period, mainly due to costs related to its purchase of in vitro diagnostic test maker Axis-Shield PLC in 2011.

Excluding those costs and other one-time charges and gains, the company reported adjusted net income of 43 cents per share. FactSet said analyst expected 52 cents per share, on average.

Alere shares lost $1.54, or 8 percent, to $17.81 in morning trading. Earlier the shares fell to $17.13, their lowest price in about four years.

Alere said its quarterly revenue rose 18 percent, to $691.4 million from $585.8 million. Professional diagnostics revenue rose 24 percent to $531.4 million, as sales of toxicology tests rose. Alere also bought diabetes testing supply maker Arriva Medical in late 2011, and it reported $35.7 million in diabetes product sales in the third quarter. Health management revenue rose 4 percent to $135.1 million on greater revenue from self-testing products for patients.

Revenue topped the $690.3 million, on average, that analysts had forecast.

Amortization charges for the quarter totaled $83.1 million. In the third quarter of 2011, Alere reported net income of $234.2 million, or $2.48 per share. That quarter Alere logged a $288.9 million gain connected to a venture with Procter & Gamble Co.

Alere said its sales of flu products decreased.

Sales were also hurt by a recall of some of its Alere Triage heart attack and heart failure tests. The company also received a federal subpoena related to the performance and quality control of those products. Alere said the Food and Drug Administration was concerned about the company's quality-control methods and the way those methods were described on Triage product labeling.

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