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Quest Diagnostics reports 17.5% drop in Q4'16 net income

Quest Diagnostics Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income attributable to the company of $155 million, or $1.09 per share, down 17.5% from a net income of $188 million, or $1.29 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2015.

On an adjusted basis, net income attributable to the company was $173 million, or $1.31 per share excluding amortization, up 9.6% from $157 million, or $1.19 per share excluding amortization, in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported operating income of $276 million, up from $239 million for the fourth quarter of the previous year. On an adjusted basis, operating income was $305 million versus $288 million in the prior-year period.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.27.

Quest Diagnostics reported net revenues of $1.86 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with $1.85 billion in the same quarter of 2015.

The company expects 2017 revenues to be between $7.64 billion and $7.72 billion, with adjusted EPS in the range of $4.65 per share to $4.80 per share. Adjusted EPS excluding amortization is expected to be in the range of $5.37 per share to $5.52 per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2017 is $5.45.

Quest Diagnostics' board also increased the amount available under the company's existing share repurchase program by $1 billion in the fourth quarter. As of Dec. 31, 2016, $1.4 billion remained available for purchase under the program.

For the full year 2016, net income attributable to the company was $645 million, or $4.51 per share, down 9.1% from $709 million or $4.87 per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, net income attributable to the company was $682 million, or $5.15 per share excluding amortization, up from $640 million, or $4.77 per share excluding amortization, a year ago.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2016 was $5.10.