Quest Diagnostics raises 2024 profit and revenue forecast on strong demand

(Reuters) - Laboratory operator Quest Diagnostics raised its 2024 profit and revenue forecast on Tuesday after beating first-quarter estimates on robust demand for its diagnostic tests.

Demand for routine diagnostic health checkups has grown over the past few quarters as more people undergo non-urgent surgeries that were delayed due to the pandemic.

"Our investments within advanced diagnostics also enabled double-digit growth within multiple key clinical areas, including brain health, women's health and advanced cardiometabolic health," said CEO Jim Davis.

The company updated its 2024 expected adjusted profit to be between $8.72 per share and $8.97 per share compared to $8.60 to $8.90 per share expected previously. Analysts estimate adjusted profit to be $8.75 per share.

It also raised its 2024 revenue forecast to $9.40 billion to $9.48 billion from its previous outlook of $9.35 billion to $9.45 billion.

Quest, which offers a range of diagnostic tests, including those for allergies, chronic diseases and cancer, said its investments in AI and automation have helped it improve productivity.

The company said its first-quarter revenue rose 1.5% to $2.37 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.29 billion, according to LSEG data.

This is the first time the Secaucus, New Jersey-based company has grown its total revenues since the height of the pandemic three years ago.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted a profit of $2.04 per share for the quarter ended March 31, above estimates of $1.86 per share. (This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of the company name and to add the ticker symbol in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Puyaan Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)