Qiagen forecasts profit above estimates as non-COVID businesses rebound

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A logo of a testing company Qiagen is seen as Economy Minister Andreas Pinkwart and Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann of the German state Northrhine Westphalia visit Qiagen's facility, in Hilden, Germany, September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

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Feb 8 (Reuters) - Diagnostics company Qiagen (QIA.DE) on Tuesday projected 2022 profit above market estimates, signaling that a rebound in its non-COVID businesses would offset a drop in coronavirus testing demand.

Share of the company rose nearly 6% in extended trading as it also surpassed analysts' estimates for fourth-quarter sales.

Demand has picked up for Qiagen's regular diagnostic tests and the services it provides to pharmaceutical and laboratory customers in the past few quarters after surging COVID-19 cases and accompanying curbs pressured sales earlier in the pandemic.

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That has helped cut the company's dependence on its ultra-rapid, portable and PCR coronavirus tests, whose sales have been difficult to predict due to the volatility in infections.

Qiagen said on Tuesday it expected a significant decline in COVID-19 product sales this year, following similar commentary from clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics (DGX.N) and a cautious forecast from rival test maker Abbott Labs (ABT.N). read more

In the last three months of 2021, sales of its non-COVID product rose 10% to $400 million at constant exchange rates. Sales of its QuantiFERON tuberculosis test rose 29% to $74 million.

"Going into 2022, we are optimistic about opportunities in the research environment ... as well as robust trends in regular clinical testing for molecular diagnostics," Chief Executive Officer Thierry Bernard said.

Qiagen expects double-digit growth in the non-COVID product category this year on a currency-adjusted basis.

It projected 2022 net sales of at least $2.07 billion and adjusted earnings per share of at least $2.05 at constant exchange rates.

Analysts on average were expecting sales of $2.05 billion and profit of $2.03 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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Reporting by Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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