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Quest Diagnostics Reports Strong Earnings Growth In First Quarter 2009
Date:4/21/2009

- Diluted earnings per share of $0.89, up 24%

- Total revenues of $1.8 billion, up 1.3%

- Cash flow from operations of $273 million, up 73%

- 2009 EPS outlook increased to between $3.65 and $3.75

MADISON, N.J., April 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, announced that for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, income from continuing operations was $169 million, or $0.89 per diluted share, compared to $141 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2008.

First quarter revenues increased 1.3% to $1.8 billion. Clinical testing revenues increased 2.2% compared to the prior year. Revenue per requisition increased 4.1% and clinical testing volume, measured by the number of requisitions, decreased 1.9%. Drugs of abuse testing volume, which is sensitive to hiring trends, declined 25% and reduced clinical testing volume by 1.7%. Changes associated with lab management agreements that the company exited further reduced volume by about 1%. Underlying volume continued to grow consistent with prior quarters.

"We began the year with a strong first quarter, delivering a 24% increase in earnings per share," said Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These results reflect our continued focus on growing esoteric testing, including cancer diagnostics, and our program to drive sustainable operating efficiencies, as well as effective cost management in the quarter. We are executing our plan, and for 2009 continue to expect revenue growth of 3%. Reflecting our strong performance in the quarter, today we are raising our guidance for earnings per share."

For the first quarter, operating income increased to $321 m
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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