Waltham, Mass.-based Alere said in March that it would miss the deadline for releasing last year’s results due to an investigation of inappropriate conduct at its South Korean Standard Diagnostics subsidiary. It wasn’t the 1st delay for Alere, which belatedly filed its 2015 annual report in August 2016 after finding “immaterial errors” in its revenue recognition processes and “material weaknesses” in the way it recognized revenues and accounted for income taxes.
The accounting snafus and a ban imposed on its Arriva Medical diabetes division by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services led to problems with its pending acquisition by Abbott (NYSE:ABT); the companies agreed in April to a lower, $5.3 billion price on the deal.
Today Alere posted 4th-quarter losses of -$114.1 million, or -$1.38 per share, on sales of $592.6 million for the 3 months ended Dec. 31. Last month the company forecast Q4 losses of -$122.3 million, or -$1.41 per share, on sales of $596.8 million.
For the full year, Alere swung to red ink, reporting losses of -$137.6 million, or -$1.81 per share, on sales of $2.36 billion, again missing its sales forecast but beating its bottom-line prediction.
“Alere delivered solid 2016 results by maintaining our discipline and staying focused on core business growth as a leader in point-of-care diagnostics. Excluding extraordinary costs and the impact of foreign currency exchange and divestitures, our operating earnings in 2016 were roughly in line with 2015,” CEO Namal Nawana said in prepared remarks. “We successfully accelerated growth in our global Infectious Disease business in 2016, achieving double-digit sales growth driven by the success of the Alere i molecular platform with an expanded menu of three assays. In addition, we continued to invest in global operations and infrastructure to strengthen the enterprise. We have seen a strong start to 2017 in each of our global business units and look forward to reporting our progress in the first quarter results.”
Investors responded by sending ALR shares up 2.4% to $49.91 apiece today in mid-day trading.
Alere also said it’s discontinuing its quarterly earnings calls as it expects to close the Abbott merger this quarter.