MADISON, N.J. (AP) -- Quest Diagnostics Inc. said Wednesday its net income fell 71 percent in the fourth quarter as it decided to sell two businesses and dealt with the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
The medical lab operator also gave a disappointing forecast for its business in 2013, projecting a smaller profit and less revenue than Wall Street expected. Quest shares fell about 7 percent in heavy morning trading.
Quest sold its OralDNA business in December and took a loss on that sale. Last week, it said it would sell its HemoCue diagnostic products unit, which makes blood and urine tests. Both businesses are counted as discontinued operations in its fourth-quarter results. The company also announced earlier this month that Superstorm Sandy reduced its fourth-quarter net income by 6 cents per share and revenue by $21 million.
The company said its net income fell to $55.8 million, or 34 cents per share. A year ago Quest reported a profit of $189.5 million, or $1.19 per share. If one-time items and charges and discontinued operations are excluded, Quest said it earned $1.01 per share in the latest quarter.
Revenue fell 4 percent to $1.77 billion from $1.85 billion.
Analysts were expecting income of $1.05 per share and $1.81 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
For 2012, Quest's net income grew 18 percent to $555.7 million, or $3.46 per share, from $470.6 million, or $2.92 per share. Revenue decreased to $7.38 billion from $7.39 billion.
The company said it expects to earn between $4.35 and $4.55 per share in 2013. It said revenue could be unchanged from 2012, or could grow as much as 1 percent, suggesting a range of $7.38 billion to $7.46 billion.
Analysts forecast income of $4.81 per share and $7.53 billion in revenue, on average.
Shares of Quest declined $3.48, or 5.6 percent, to $58.35 in morning trading after declining more than 7 percent earlier.
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