Idexx Laboratories Inc. has wrapped up another profitable year that saw the Westbrook company delving into human COVID-19 testing and making big gains in sales of pet-centric products and services.

Idexx, a diagnostic testing provider focused primarily on animal health, on Tuesday reported revenue of $2.71 billion in 2020, up 12 percent from its previous high of $2.41 billion in 2019. The company also shattered the previous year’s net income, boosting it by 31 percent to $582.1 million, or $6.71 per share.

The growth in revenue picked up in pace as the year went on, with the company reporting a gain of 19 percent for the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier, and net income growth of 93 percent – nearly doubling its profit compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. Idexx reported revenue of $720.9 million for the most recent quarter, and net income of $175 million, or $2.01 per share.

“Idexx had an exceptional finish to 2020, supported by continued robust global market trends in companion animal healthcare and outstanding execution by the Idexx organization globally,” said company President and CEO Jay Mazelsky in a statement. “Performance was strong across our major geographic markets, enabling us to deliver 12 percent organic growth overall and 31 percent (earnings per share) growth on a comparable constant currency basis for the full year, above our long-term goals.”

Some of the gains were attributable to rebounds in veterinary pet care, which took a hit in early 2020 due to the pandemic. In a recent article, Mazelsky said first-time visits to veterinary clinics increased 8 percent in the July-September quarter. In recent years, he said, typical growth was 2 percent per quarter.

Wellness visits to vets increased by 11 percent in the third quarter, and 90 percent of the increase from January to September was from people taking puppies and kittens to vets for wellness visits, Mazelsky said.

Idexx also reported that about 1.5 percent of its revenue growth was thanks to its COVID-19 test kits, but the pandemic also negatively impacted revenue gains due to drops in new companion animal group instrument placements and a drop in water quality testing, which the company also provides.

Fourth quarter growth also benefited 1.5 percent from revenues associated with OPTI Medical Systems COVID-19 human PCR testing. Overall revenue gains were moderated by coronavirus pandemic-related impacts that constrained new instrument placement levels and noncompliance-related testing in the company’s water business.

Idexx said that it expects growth to continue this year, projecting that 2021 annual revenues will be $3.07 billion to $3.12 billion, an increase of 13 percent to 15.5 percent. Earnings per share should be $7.39 to $7.71, the company said, an increase of 10 percent to 14 percent.

Most publicly traded companies declined to offer forecasts for revenues and earnings in 2020 because of uncertainty over the impact of the pandemic.

Idexx stock closed Tuesday at $506.65 a share, an increase of $14.23, or 2.9 percent. It initially shot up to $522.10 per share after the company reported its earnings Tuesday morning, then settled in to trading in a narrow range around $507 a share for the rest of the day.

The company’s shares, listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol IDXX, have nearly doubled in value over the past year.


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