Meridian Bioscience Inc. has a market cap of $744.4 million; its shares were traded at around $17.99 with a P/E ratio of 25.1 and P/S ratio of 4.6. The dividend yield of Meridian Bioscience Inc. stocks is 4.3%. Meridian Bioscience Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 15.4% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Meridian Bioscience Inc. the business predictability rank of 2.5-star.
Highlight of Business Operations:Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 9% to $6,578, or $0.16 per diluted share, from net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 of $6,025, or $0.15 per diluted share. This increase reflects the combined effects of both increased sales and slightly increased operating expenses. Additionally, fiscal 2012 includes $444 of costs associated with the consolidation of the Saco, Maine operations into the Memphis, Tennessee facility (impact on earnings $289, or $0.01 per diluted share). Consolidated sales increased 8% to $40,266 for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to the same period of the prior year, reflecting increases in sales across all of our diagnostic focus product families: C. difficile, Foodborne and H. pylori, and our Life Science businesses.
Sales for the U.S. Diagnostics operating segment for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 11% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2011, reflecting growth across all of our focus product families 6% growth in our H. pylori products, 25% growth in our foodborne products and 37% growth in our C. difficile products. First quarter 2012 sales for our European Diagnostics operating segment decreased 7% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2011. On an organic basis, which excludes the effects of currency translation, sales of our European Diagnostics operating segment decreased 6% during the first quarter. The decrease in this operating segment reflects the general economic conditions in the European market, including the sovereign debt crisis, and the resulting reduction in medical-related funding in certain locations, compounded by the ongoing effects of significant competitive pressures in the C. difficile and H. pylori product families. Reflecting growth in both its viral antigen and molecular reagent businesses, sales of our Life Science operating segment increased by 10% during the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
Our Diagnostics operating segments provide the largest share of our consolidated revenues, 76% and 77% for the first quarters of fiscal 2012 and 2011, respectively. Sales from our focus families (C. difficile, Foodborne and H. pylori) comprised 62% and 56% of our Diagnostics operating segments revenues during the first quarters of fiscal 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Our illumigene® molecular C. difficile product has now been available in markets around the world for over 15 months. Sales of this product were approximately $4,500 and $775 in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and 2011, respectively. We have nearly 750 placements of illumigene® units worldwide to date, with approximately 85% of these installed in the U.S. At the present time, it generally takes a customer 90 days from purchase order placement to become revenue producing a timeframe we are continually working to reduce. Our illumigene® molecular C. difficile product has restored the C. difficile product family to positive sales growth, 27% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, and has allowed us to begin to recover lost test volume from our Toxin products.
Net cash provided by operating activities decreased 8% for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 to $12,497, reflecting the 9% increase in net earnings and the effects of net working capital changes related to our investments in illumigene® inventory and the timing of payments with suppliers. Net cash flows from operating activities and cash on hand are anticipated to be adequate to fund working capital requirements and dividends during the next 12 months. During the last eight fiscal quarters, the per share amount of our cash dividend has exceeded the per share amount of our diluted earnings. During the second half of fiscal 2012, management expects that this relationship will change;
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