Quest Diagnostics says third-quarter profit to miss estimates

Reuters

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Laboratory tests provider QuestDiagnostics Inc estimated a third-quarter profit belowanalysts' expectations, citing a fall in the number of testsordered in the latter part of the quarter.

The company estimated adjusted earnings of $1.02 per sharefrom continuing operations, down from $1.15 per share a yearearlier. Analysts were expecting $1.20 per share, according toThomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quest also estimated revenue of $1.79 billion fromcontinuing operations, marginally below analysts' estimates of$1.84 billion.

"Early in the third quarter, we were encouraged by revenueperformance that was in line with our expectations," said ChiefExecutive Steve Rusckowski. "However, later in the quarter,revenues deteriorated, leading to results that did not meet ourexpectations."

This will be the fourth profit miss in a row for thecompany, which has been hurt by a cut in Medicarereimbursements.

The company said it had been under reimbursement pressureall year from government and commercial payers.

Revenue per requisition from the company's core diagnosticsbusiness fell 3.3 percent in the quarter, excluding the effectof recent acquisitions.

Quest will report third-quarter results on Oct. 17.

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