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LabCorp Announces 2018 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results and Provides 2019 Guidance

February 7, 2019

BURLINGTON, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 7, 2019--LabCorp ® (or the Company) (NYSE: LH) today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2018, and provided 2019 guidance.

“LabCorp delivered another strong year in 2018, highlighted by 10% revenue growth and 20% adjusted EPS growth,” said David P. King, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our fourth quarter results included an excellent performance by Covance, with a strong 1.34 book to bill, constant currency organic revenue growth of over 9%, and margin expansion of approximately 300 basis points. Non-operational items constrained our Diagnostics business, but excluding those items, the fundamental revenue, margin and cash flow generation characteristics of the business remained strong, and we delivered organic volume growth and favorable mix. Both businesses continued to benefit from differentiated, data-driven solutions and growth opportunities derived from our competitive advantages in data and analytics, patient engagement, scientific innovation, and therapeutic expertise. The power of our Diagnostic-Drug Development combination is translating into unique solutions for patients, customers, and partners, positioning us to deliver growth and shareholder value in the years ahead.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the Company adopted the FASB-issued converged standard on revenue recognition (ASC 606), using the full retrospective method. Unless otherwise indicated, all financial results in 2017 and comparisons to financial results in 2017 have been restated in this press release as if the Company had adopted ASC 606 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Consolidated Results

Fourth Quarter Results

Revenue for the quarter was $2.79 billion, an increase of 1.6% compared to $2.74 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The increase in revenue was primarily due to organic growth of 2.9% and acquisitions of 0.7%, partially offset by the negative impact from the disposition of businesses of 1.6%, and foreign currency translation of approximately 40 basis points.

Operating income for the quarter was $307.7 million, or 11.0% of revenue, compared to $330.6 million, or 12.0%, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The decrease in operating income and margin were primarily due to lower pricing as a result of the implementation of PAMA, the disposition of businesses, and higher personnel costs, partially offset by increased demand, the Company’s LaunchPad business process improvement initiative, acquisitions, and fewer restructuring charges and special items. The Company recorded restructuring charges, special items, and amortization, which together totaled $87.2 million in the quarter, compared to $102.0 million during the same period in 2017. Adjusted operating income (excluding amortization, restructuring charges, and special items) for the quarter was $394.9 million, or 14.2% of revenue, compared to $432.7 million, or 15.8%, in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Net earnings in the quarter were $157.9 million, compared to $687.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Diluted EPS were $1.56 in the quarter compared to $6.63 in the same period in 2017. During the quarter, the Company recorded a $24.5 million loss on the disposition of its U.S. forensics laboratory testing business, a non-cash $7.5 million settlement charge recorded on one of its legacy pension plans, and a write-off of an investment in its venture fund of $5.2 million (all charges recorded in other income (expense)). In addition, the Company recorded $7.7 million in deferred income tax expense resulting from a revaluation of its deferred tax liabilities after merging Chiltern International, Inc. into Covance, Inc. These charges reduced net earnings and diluted EPS by $29.5 million and $0.29, respectively. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company recorded a net benefit of $519.0 million in net earnings, or $5.00 per diluted share, due to the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), which resulted in a favorable re-valuation of deferred taxes, partially offset by the deemed repatriation tax.

Adjusted EPS (excluding amortization, restructuring charges, and special items) were $2.52 in the quarter, an increase of 11.0% compared to $2.27 in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Company’s adjusted earnings in the quarter were negatively impacted by approximately $0.04 per diluted share due to lower volume caused by the impact from adverse weather.

Operating cash flow and free cash flow (operating cash flow less capital expenditures) for the quarter were $486.4 million and $364.2 million, respectively, each of which was reduced by the net tax payment of approximately $105 million related to the disposition of businesses. Excluding these non-recurring items, operating cash flow would have been $591.4 million, compared to $565.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, as the benefit from higher cash earnings was partially offset by increased working capital. Capital expenditures totaled $122.2 million, compared to $96.1 million a year ago. As a result, free cash flow in the quarter would have been $469.2 million excluding the tax payment on the disposition of businesses, compared to $468.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

At the end of the quarter, the Company’s cash balance and total debt were $426.8 million and $6.1 billion, respectively. During the quarter, the Company repurchased $400.0 million of stock representing approximately 2.5 million shares, paid down $400.0 million of debt, and invested $38.7 million in acquisitions. On Feb. 6, 2019, the board replaced the Company’s existing share repurchase plan with a new plan authorizing repurchase of up to $1.25 billion in the Company’s shares.

Full Year Results

Revenue was $11.33 billion, an increase of 9.9% over last year’s $10.31 billion. The increase in revenue was due to acquisitions of 7.6%, organic growth of 2.7%, and the benefit from foreign currency translation of approximately 30 basis points, partially offset by the impact from the disposition of businesses of 0.7%.

Operating income was $1,325.7 million, or 11.7% of revenue, compared to $1,305.2 million, or 12.7%, in 2017. The increase in operating income was primarily due to acquisitions, organic revenue growth, and the Company’s LaunchPad initiatives, partially offset by the implementation of PAMA, personnel costs, and higher restructuring charges and special items. The decline in operating margin was primarily due to the implementation of PAMA, higher personnel costs, as well as the mix impact from the acquisition of Chiltern. The Company recorded restructuring charges, special items, and amortization which together totaled $397.6 million, compared to $367.2 million during the same period in 2017. This increase was due to higher amortization expense, and the payment of a one-time bonus to non-bonus-eligible employees following the implementation of the TCJA. Adjusted operating income (excluding amortization, restructuring charges, and special items) was $1.72 billion, or 15.2% of revenue, compared to $1.67 billion, or 16.2%, last year.

Net earnings in 2018 were $883.7 million, or $8.61 per diluted share, compared to $1,227.1 million, or $11.81 per diluted share, last year. Net earnings and diluted EPS in 2018 benefitted from the net gain on disposition of businesses of $112.9 million and $1.10 per diluted share, respectively. In addition, the Company recorded a non-cash $7.5 million settlement charge on one of its legacy pension plans, and a write-off of an investment in its venture fund of $5.2 million. The Company also recorded $7.7 million in income tax expense resulting from a revaluation of its deferred tax liabilities after merging Chiltern International, Inc. into Covance, Inc. Due to the implementation of the TCJA, the Company recorded a charge of $45.0 million, or $0.44 per diluted share in 2018, and a net benefit of $519.0 million in net earnings, or $5.00 per diluted share in 2017. The net impact from these items increased net earnings and diluted EPS in 2018 by $50.8 million and $0.50 per diluted share, respectively.

Adjusted EPS (excluding amortization, restructuring charges, and special items) were $11.02, an increase of 19.8% compared to $9.20 in 2017.

Operating cash flow and free cash flow (operating cash flow less capital expenditures) were $1,305.4 million and $925.6 million, respectively, each of which was reduced by the net tax payment of approximately $105 million related to the disposition of businesses (the Company realized gross proceeds from the disposition of businesses of $658.2 million in cash reflected in Cash Flows from Investing Activities). Excluding these non-recurring items, operating cash flow would have been $1,410.4 million, compared to $1,498.1 million in 2017, as the benefit of higher cash earnings was more than offset by an increase in working capital. Capital expenditures totaled $379.8 million, compared to $312.9 million in 2017. As a result, free cash flow would have been $1,030.6 million excluding the tax payment on the disposition of businesses, compared to $1,185.2 million in 2017.

During the year, the Company repurchased $700.0 million of stock representing approximately 4.3 million shares, paid down $695.0 million of debt, and invested $117.8 million in acquisitions.

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The following segment results reflect the Company’s retrospective adoption of ASC 606 on Jan. 1, 2017, and exclude amortization, restructuring charges, special items and unallocated corporate expenses.

Fourth Quarter Segment Results

LabCorp Diagnostics

Revenue for the quarter was $1.69 billion, a decrease of 2.8% from $1.74 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Revenue benefitted from acquisitions of 0.4% and favorable mix of 0.7%, which were more than offset by the negative impact from the disposition of businesses of 2.6%, the implementation of PAMA of 1.0%, and foreign currency translation of approximately 0.2%. Excluding the impact from PAMA, foreign currency translation, adverse weather of approximately 0.4%, as well as the year on year impact from the calendar of approximately 0.8%, organic revenue for the quarter would have increased by approximately 1.8%.

Excluding the disposition of businesses, revenue per requisition decreased by 0.4%, driven by the negative impact from PAMA of 1.0%. Total volume (measured by requisitions) excluding the disposition of businesses increased by 0.3%, as acquisition volume contributed 0.4% and organic volume declined by 0.1%. Excluding the impact from adverse weather and the year on year impact from the calendar, organic volume would have increased approximately 1.1%.

Adjusted operating income (excluding amortization, restructuring charges and special items) for the quarter was $279.3 million, or 16.5% of revenue, compared to $357.0 million, or 20.5%, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Operating income and margin declined primarily due to the impact from PAMA of approximately $18 million or 80 basis points, the year on year impact from the calendar of approximately $20 million or 100 basis points, adverse weather, the disposition of businesses, and personnel costs, partially offset by cost reductions and acquisitions. Excluding the disposition of businesses, impact from PAMA, adverse weather, as well as the year on year impact from the calendar, adjusted operating income and margin would have been approximately $328.6 million and 18.5%, respectively.

In addition, the Company has started phase II of LabCorp Diagnostics’ LaunchPad initiative. The Company is focused on eliminating manual processes, digitizing the business, using technology to improve quality, operations and service, and enhancing the consumer experience, which are designed to unlock new avenues for growth and contribute to improvement in long-term margins. This initiative is expected to generate pre-tax net savings of approximately $200 million over the three-year period ending in 2021, with pre-tax, one-time charges expected to be approximately $40 million.

Covance Drug Development

Revenue for the quarter was $1.10 billion, an increase of 9.6% over $1.00 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The increase in revenue was due to organic growth of 9.3% and acquisitions of 1.2%, partially offset by the negative impact from foreign currency translation of approximately 90 basis points.

Adjusted operating income (excluding amortization, restructuring charges and special items) for the quarter was $153.5 million, or 14.0% of revenue, compared to $110.9 million, or 11.1%, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The increase in operating income and margin were primarily due to organic demand, LaunchPad savings and acquisitions, partially offset by personnel costs. The Company is on track to deliver $150 million of net savings from its three-year Covance LaunchPad initiative by the end of 2020, and $30 million of cost synergies from the integration of Chiltern by the end of 2019.

Net orders and net book-to-bill during the trailing twelve months were $5.44 billion and 1.26, respectively. Backlog at the end of the quarter was $9.76 billion compared to $9.40 billion last quarter, and the Company expects approximately $3.9 billion of its backlog to convert into revenue in the next twelve months.

***

Outlook for 2019

The following guidance assumes foreign exchange rates effective as of Dec. 31, 2018, for the full year, and includes the estimated impact from currently anticipated capital allocation, including acquisitions and share repurchases.

Revenue growth of 0.5% to 2.5% over 2018 revenue of $11.33 billion, which includes the negative impact from the disposition of businesses of approximately 1% and foreign currency translation of approximately 0.4%. The change in revenue in LabCorp Diagnostics is expected to be -4.0% to -2.0% as compared to 2018 revenue of $7.03 billion, which includes the negative impact from the disposition of businesses of approximately 2%. Excluding the disposition of businesses, the change in revenue in LabCorp Diagnostics is expected to be approximately -2.0% to 0.0%, primarily due to organic volume growth, favorable test mix, and acquisitions, offset by the impact of PAMA of -1.6%, changes in certain managed care contracts and laboratory provider networks, as well as foreign currency translation of approximately 0.3%. Revenue growth in Covance Drug Development of 5.0% to 9.0% over 2018 revenue of $4.31 billion, which includes the negative impact from foreign currency translation of approximately 0.6%. Adjusted EPS of $11.00 to $11.40, a change of 0% to 3% as compared to $11.02 in 2018. Free cash flow (operating cash flow less capital expenditures) of $950 million to $1.05 billion, compared to $925.6 million in 2018.

Use of Adjusted Measures

The Company has provided in this press release and accompanying tables “adjusted” financial information that has not been prepared in accordance with GAAP, including adjusted EPS, adjusted operating income, free cash flow, and certain segment information. The Company believes these adjusted measures are useful to investors as a supplement to, but not as a substitute for, GAAP measures, in evaluating the Company’s operational performance. The Company further believes that the use of these non-GAAP financial measures provides an additional tool for investors in evaluating operating results and trends, and growth and shareholder returns, as well as in comparing the Company’s financial results with the financial results of other companies. However, the Company notes that these adjusted measures may be different from and not directly comparable to the measures presented by other companies. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this press release.

The Company today is furnishing a Current Report on Form 8-K that will include additional information on its business and operations. This information will also be available in the investor relations section of the Company’s website at http://www.labcorp.com. Analysts and investors are directed to the Current Report on Form 8-K and the website to review this supplemental information.

A conference call discussing LabCorp’s quarterly results will be held today at 9:00 a.m. EDT and is available by dialing 844-634-1444 (615-247-0253 for international callers). The access code is 1669755. A telephone replay of the call will be available through Feb. 21, 2019, and can be heard by dialing 855-859-2056 (404-537-3406 for international callers). The access code for the replay is 1669755. A live online broadcast of LabCorp’s quarterly conference call on Feb. 7, 2019, will be available at http://www.labcorp.com or at http://www.streetevents.com beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT. This webcast will be archived and accessible through Jan. 31, 2020.

About LabCorp

LabCorp (NYSE: LH), an S&P 500 company, is a leading global life sciences company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostic solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster, and uses technology to improve the delivery of care. LabCorp reported revenues of more than $11 billion in 2018. To learn more about LabCorp, visit www.LabCorp.com, and to learn more about Covance Drug Development, visit www.Covance.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements including but not limited to statements with respect to estimated 2019 guidance and the related assumptions, the impact of various factors on operating and financial results, expected savings and synergies (including from the LaunchPad initiative and from acquisitions), and the opportunities for future growth. Each of the forward-looking statements is subject to change based on various important factors, including without limitation, competitive actions and other unforeseen changes and general uncertainties in the marketplace, changes in government regulations, including healthcare reform, customer purchasing decisions, including changes in payer regulations or policies, other adverse actions of governmental and third-party payers, changes in testing guidelines or recommendations, adverse results in material litigation matters, the impact of changes in tax laws and regulations, failure to maintain or develop customer relationships, our ability to develop or acquire new products and adapt to technological changes, failure in information technology, systems or data security, adverse weather conditions, employee relations, and the effect of exchange rate fluctuations. Actual results could differ materially from those suggested by these forward-looking statements. The Company has no obligation to provide any updates to these forward-looking statements even if its expectations change. Further information on potential factors, risks and uncertainties that could affect operating and financial results is included in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, and subsequent Forms 10-Q, including in each case under the heading RISK FACTORS, and in the Company’s other filings with the SEC. The information in this press release should be read in conjunction with a review of the Company’s filings with the SEC including the information in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, and subsequent Forms 10-Q, under the heading MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

- End of Text - - Tables to Follow -

Results for the three months and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 have been restated for the adoption of ASC 606 (Revenue Recognition) and the application of ASU 2017-17 (Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Post-Retirement Benefit Cost). The consolidated revenue and adjusted segment operating income are presented net of intersegment transaction eliminations. Adjusted operating income and adjusted operating margin are non-GAAP measures. See the subsequent footnotes for reconciliations of non-GAAP measures.

Notes to Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190207005385/en/

CONTACT: Scott Frommer (investors) – 336-436-5076

Investor@LabCorp.com

Pattie Kushner (media)– 336-436-8263

Media@LabCorp.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA NORTH CAROLINA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH PHARMACEUTICAL RADIOLOGY MEDICAL SUPPLIES GENERAL HEALTH

SOURCE: Laboratory Corporation of America(R) Holdings

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 02/07/2019 06:55 AM/DISC: 02/07/2019 06:55 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190207005385/en

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