Immucor Beats Earnings Estimates

| About: Immucor, Inc. (BLUD)
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Recently, Immucor (NASDAQ:BLUD) announced its first quarter (ending August 2009) 2010 earnings of 30 cents, which was better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25 cents and the year ago quarter’s earnings of 28 cents. Net income in the quarter was $21.3 million, compared with $20.0 million for the same quarter last year.

The company reported $83.1 million in revenues, an increase of 14% from $73.2 million in the corresponding period last year. The increase in revenues was based on both price and volume contributions, partially offset by foreign exchange fluctuations.

While Immucor recorded a robust growth in its top line, its gross margin suffered due to costs related to the company’s Quality Process Improvement Project, targeted at establishing a better quality system. Gross margin during the quarter declined 110 bps to 71.9%. In addition, operating expenses increased 16% year over year to $26.34 million primarily due to the BioArray acquisition completed in August 2008.

The company’s main products – traditional reagents, capture reagents and instruments accounted for 65%, 22% and 11%, respectively. Although Immucor earns the most from the manufacture of traditional reagents, its gross margin at 76.1% is low compared to capture reagents. These three segments recorded a year over year revenue growth of 11%, 21% and 8%, respectively. During the quarter, Immucor had a steady order flow for two its most important instruments – Echo (40 orders) and Galileo (14 orders). The company is witnessing longer sales cycles for its Echo instruments. It now expects orders for the product to total 280 to 320 this fiscal year, compared to the earlier forecast of 320 to 350.

Immucor reaffirmed its fiscal 2010 revenue and earnings guidance, which are expected in the range of $322 million - $332 million and $1.1 - $1.17per share, respectively. The company repurchased about 350,000 shares of its stock during the first quarter for $6 million. Cash balance at the end of the quarter was $152 million, up from $136 million recorded during the quarter ended May 2009.