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From: tnsaf11/14/2007 10:22:29 PM
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Meridian Bioscience Profit Up 36 Percent
Wednesday November 14, 12:52 pm ET
Meridian Bioscience Profit Rises 36 Percent Amid Higher Demand for Diagnostic Test Products

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Meridian Bioscience Inc., which makes diagnostic test kits, said Wednesday profit rose 36 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, as higher demand for diagnostic products drove revenue growth.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company earned $6.4 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with $4.7 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $32.4 million from $28.7 million, benefiting from double-digit sales increases across all the company's business units.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected profit of 15 cents per share, on revenue of $32.6 million.

Full-year earnings rose 46 percent to $26.7 million, or 66 cents per share, from $18.3 million, or 46 cents per share. Excluding a one-time tax benefit, adjusted earnings for 2007 totaled 60 cents per share.

Revenue for fiscal 2007 gained 13 percent to $123 million from $108.4 million.

For the fourth quarter, "our diagnostics businesses performed very well, led by tests for hospital-acquired infections, respiratory disease, stomach ulcers and food-borne infections," said John A. Kraeutler, president and chief operating officer.

U.S. diagnostics sales rose 10 percent to $19 million from $17.2 million.

In a note to investors, Soleil Securities Group analyst Elliott L. Schlang maintained his estimates on the company and kept his rating at "Hold."

Shares of Meridian fell 65 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $30.20 in midday trading.
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