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Quest Diagnostics Reports Growth in Revenue and Earnings for Third Quarter 2008
Date:10/21/2008

nd continuing to drive strong results."

For the third quarter, operating income increased to $317 million, or 17.4% of revenues, from $306 million, or 17.3% of revenues in 2007. The impact of hurricanes reduced operating income as a percentage of revenues by approximately half a percent. Bad debt expense, as a percentage of revenues, improved to 4.4%, compared to 4.8% in 2007. Days sales outstanding improved to 45 days, compared to 46 days at the end of the second quarter of 2008 and 50 days a year ago. Cash flow from operations increased to $329 million from $291 million in the third quarter of 2007. During the quarter, the company reduced debt by $131 million, and made capital expenditures of $45 million. Cash and cash equivalents increased to $287 million at the end of the third quarter, compared to $143 million at the end of the second quarter.

Year-to-Date Performance

For the first nine months of 2008, adjusted income from continuing operations increased to $2.41 per diluted share, before $0.03 per share associated with the write-down of an equity investment and $0.02 per share associated with the impact of hurricanes in the third quarter. Including these items, income from continuing operations increased to $463 million, or $2.36 per diluted share, from $400 million, or $2.05 per diluted share in 2007. Revenues increased 10.4% to $5.4 billion. The acquisition of AmeriPath increased consolidated revenues by 6.8%.

Operating income for the first nine months of 2008 increased to $905 million, or 16.6% of revenues, compared to $779 million, or 15.8% of revenues, in 2007. Cash from operations increased to $700 million from $572 million in 2007. Through September 2008, the company reduced debt by $412 million, and made capital expenditures of $140 million.

Agreement in Principle Regarding Previously Disclosed NID-Related Matter

The company and NID, the company's former test-kit manufacturing subsidiary, reached an agreement i
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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