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February 2, 2021

IDEXX beats market estimates on Q4 earnings, revenue

Illuminated IDEXX building, seen from the outside. File photo IDEXX Laboratories Inc., based in Westbrook, posted lower first-quarter earnings and cut its full-year outlook.

IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IDXX), on Tuesday posted fourth-quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded market expectations and gave a bullish outlook for 2021.

The Westbrook-based provider of veterinary diagnostics, veterinary practice software and water microbiology testing posted $2.01 in fourth-quarter earnings per diluted share, an increase of 93% over a year ago.

EPS was also well above the $1.43 consensus forecast of analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research, marking the fourth straight quarter the company has beaten market expectations.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $721 million, or 19% above a year earlier on a reported basis and 17% higher on an organic basis. That exceeded the Zacks consensus forecast by 5.79%.

At $2.7 billion, full-year 2020 revenue was up 12% on a reported and organic basis, driven by 16% reported and 15% organic growth in recurring revenue at the company's Companion Animal Group Diagnostics division.

Photo of Jay Mazelsky, IDEXX president and CEO
Courtesy / IDEXX Laboratories Inc.
IDEXX President and CEO Jay Mazelsky

“IDEXX had an exceptional finish to 2020, supported by continued robust global market trends in companion animal healthcare and outstanding execution by the IDEXX organization globally," Jay Mazelsky, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement accompanying the results.

"The team’s high level of engagement and focus on execution enabled us to be well-positioned to benefit from a strong market recovery in pet health care," he added.

While highlighting the company's strong balance sheet in a morning conference call with analysts, Mazelsky also said the company expects an increase in costs this year related to employee health care and travel costs as pandemic-related restrictions are eased.

He also predicted "significant variability" in terms of revenue growth from quarter to quarter, with expectations for higher growth in the first half of 2021.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, IDEXX shares were trading at around $509, after opening at $504.34. IDEXX has a market capitalization of more than $43 billion.

2021 outlook

Looking ahead to this year, Mazelsky said, "We are planning to drive continued strong growth in our companion animal business, as reflected in our initial financial 2021 outlook, leveraging our expanded global commercial capability and unique innovations, which support higher standards of health care for pets."

The company said it is expecting full-year revenue growth in 2021 of 13% to 15.5% on a reported basis, and 11.5% to 13.5% in organic growth.

It's also projecting 2021 earnings per share of $7.39 to $7.71. That represents a 10% to 14% increase as reported and an increase of 15% to 20% on a comparable constant currency basis.

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