Specialty Posts Profit Far Short of Estimates

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From Bloomberg News

Specialty Laboratories Inc. shares dropped 35% after the developer of laboratory tests reported first-quarter profit well below analysts’ expectations.

The shares fell $6.25 to $11.75 on the New York Stock Exchange, after sinking as low as $10.25, a 52-week low.

Specialty’s shares, which began trading in December 2000, have lost 57% in the last year.

First-quarter net income fell 41% to $1.99 million, or 9 cents a share, from $3.4 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier, the Santa Monica-based company said.


Revenue declined slightly to $43.6 million from $43.8 million.

Wall Street was expecting per-share earnings of 16 cents, the average estimate of six analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Specialty, which offers more than 3,200 specialized tests, said it was hurt by an industrywide consolidation of laboratory services, a slowdown in new hospital accounts and higher costs.

Company officials couldn’t be reached for comment.



Downward Spiral

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