Qiagen (NASDAQ:QGEN) reported first-quarter earnings on Tuesday afternoon, with revenue growth beating guidance and adjusted earnings coming at the high end of the range.

Qiagen results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$307.7 million

$298.4 million

3%

Income from operations

$23.8 million

$16.5 million

44%

Earnings per share

$0.08

$0.07

14%

Data source: Qiagen.

What happened with Qiagen this quarter?

  • Adjusted net sales at constant exchange rates were up 6% year over year, besting management's guidance of 4% to 5% growth.
  • Applied Testing was the big winner, growing 21% year over year at constant exchange rates thanks to the launch of new human identification and forensics products.
  • Sales to pharma customers also saw a nice uptick, growing 8% year over year at constant exchange rates.
  • Sales to academia only grew 3% at constant exchange rates, but that's to be expected considering the funding issues in Europe.
  • Qiagen's tuberculosis test QuantiFERON-TB posted double-digit growth in the first quarter, and management noted that it's on track to meet its goal of 25% year-over-year growth at constant exchange rates for the full year.
  • U.S. HPV tests continued their freefall, down 51% year over year, but the sales now make up just 1% of sales, so it's hardly a drag on overall revenue growth.
  • Adjusted earnings were $0.22 per share, which was at the high end of management's guidance of $0.21 to $0.22 per share.
Qigen's GeneReader

GeneReader. Image source: Qiagen.

What management had to say

"Placements of the QIAsymphony system were very robust, and we are well-positioned to reach more than 2,000 cumulative placements by the end of the year," Qiagen's CEO Peer Schatz said. Those system placements drive consumable sales, which make up 89% of overall sales in future quarters.

Schatz also highlighted the launch of Qiagen's GeneReader next-generation sequencing system with the company getting some publicity at the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) annual meeting, "At the recent AMP Global meeting, the high accuracy and performance were highlighted in multiple studies along with its other benefits such as costeffectiveness and ease of use."

Looking forward

Management reaffirmed the 2017 guidance it gave in November for adjusted net sales growth of 6% to 7% and adjusted diluted earnings per share to fall between $1.25 and $1.27, both at constant exchange rates. For the second quarter, management expects adjusted net sales to increase 5% to 6% at constant exchange rates and adjusted earnings of $0.28 to $0.29 per share at constant exchange rates.

In addition to the aforementioned GeneReader and QuantiFERON-TB products, investors should watch Qiagen's new ipsogen JAK2 test, with detects a mutation in the JAK2 gene that's linked to a specific form of leukemia. The test is Qiagen's fifth FDA-approved oncology test.

Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Qiagen. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.