Feb. 11, 2021, 7:23 a.m. EST

Labcorp sales boosted by COVID testing

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By Matt Grossman

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings' fourth-quarter sales and profit grew substantially year over year as a result of the company's role in providing Covid-19 diagnostic tests, lifting the company's profits.

The Burlington, N.C.-based medical-diagnostics company Thursday posted a fourth-quarter profit of $9.54 a share, up from $2.32 a year earlier. Net earnings attributable to the company rose to $938.3 million from $227.1 million.

On an adjusted basis, Labcorp's profit was $10.56 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been forecasting an adjusted profit of $8.11 a share.

Revenue climbed to $4.49 billion from $2.95 billion, the company said. Analysts had been forecasting revenue of $4.04 billion.

Diagnostics revenue rose 78.5% on an organic basis, including a 78% growth contribution from Covid-19 testing. Base-business diagnostics revenue grew by 0.5% in the fourth quarter, representing the first 2020 quarter in which base business achieved growth, the company said.

Costs from amortization, restructuring charges and special items totaled $136.3 million, up from $85.6 million a year earlier, the company said. The increase was primarily due to Covid-19-related costs, Labcorp said.

Write to Matt Grossman at matt.grossman@wsj.com

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