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LabCorp sees rise in COVID-19 testing as Delta variant spreads

Stock MarketsJul 29, 2021 11:26AM ET
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(Reuters) -Laboratory Corp of America Holdings said on Thursday it has seen a rise in COVID-19 testing in July with the spread of the more contagious Delta variant across the United States.

The variant, first identified in India, is now the dominant one worldwide and has led to a spike in infection rates that has stoked widespread concerns over a economic recovery.

LabCorp said it saw a sequential decline in COVID-19 testing each month through the year with tests performed in month of June falling below the second-quarter average of 54,000 PCR tests per day.

"July was the first month, frankly, that we've seen the level of COVID testing higher than the prior month," said Glenn Eisenberg, LabCorp's Chief Financial Officer.

The comments echo those of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), which also saw demand for COVID-19 testing increase since the end of June.

LabCorp said it now believes reduction in testing would be lesser than what it had previously expected through the year.

The company's second quarter results saw it join other COVID-19 testing companies such as Quest Diagnostics and Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) in signaling a recovery in their mainstay businesses as mass inoculations prompted people to return to non-urgent care in the United States.

LabCorp raised its 2021 adjusted profit between $21.50 and $25 per share from previous outlook of $20 to $24 per share on the back of the recovery, especially in its diagnostics unit which offers services such as genetic, pathology and drug monitoring tests.

The company said for the first time since the pandemic, its non-COVID-19 testing volumes rose in June compared to 2019 and expects continued growth through the year.

Excluding items, it earned $6.13 per share, beating analyst estimates of $5.53 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Revenue of $3.84 billion also topped estimates of $3.61 billion.

LabCorp sees rise in COVID-19 testing as Delta variant spreads

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