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December 17, 2002 at 12:00 AM EST

Quidel Introduces 2003 Financial Guidance

Conference Call at 5:00 p.m. EST to Discuss Guidance, Provide Company Update

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 17, 2002--Quidel Corporation, a leading provider of rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests, today introduced 2003 financial guidance, and also reaffirmed its fourth quarter 2002 guidance as follows:
  • For 2003, total revenues are projected to be approximately $87 million, representing a 16% increase compared with the Company's guidance for 2002, assuming fourth quarter 2002 total revenues at the mid-point of the previously provided range of $21 million to $22 million.

  • Gross margin on net sales for 2003 is estimated to increase to 54 percent, up approximately 400 basis points from the projected gross margin for 2002. This gross margin expansion is expected to reflect gains from improved manufacturing efficiencies as a result of a shift to a continuous replenishment inventory system; a more favorable product mix; domestic price increases; and the outsourcing of packaging operations.

  • Pre-tax EPS on a fully diluted basis for 2003 is projected to be approximately $0.26, up sharply from expected 2002 pre-tax diluted EPS of $0.07 to $0.11. The Company confirms its expectations for fourth quarter 2002 pre-tax diluted EPS of $0.03 to $0.07.

  • On a net basis and assuming a 41% tax rate, 2003 EPS on a fully diluted basis is estimated to be approximately $0.15, reflecting a significant increase from expected 2002 diluted EPS of $0.04 to $0.06. The Company confirms its expectations for fourth quarter 2002 diluted EPS of $0.02 to $0.04.

President and chief executive officer, S. Wayne Kay, stated, "We expect to benefit from a number of important sales and operational initiatives in the coming year, including continued market gains with key product lines, our progressive shift to a vendor managed inventory system, an expansion of the application of our layered thin film technology platform to existing product lines, and a growing product portfolio that addresses significant, new market opportunities."

Conference Call Information

Quidel will host a conference call beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST (2:00 p.m. PST) today to discuss the 2003 financial guidance and the status of the Company's vendor managed inventory initiative.

To participate in the live call by telephone, please dial 888/803-7396 from the U.S., or 706/634-1052 from outside the U.S. A telephone replay will be available for 48 hours by dialing 800/642-1687 from the U.S., or 706/645-9291 for international callers, and entering reservation 6956318. The conference call is also available live via the Internet at www.quidel.com. A replay will be available on Quidel's Web site for 14 days.

About Quidel

Quidel Corporation, a worldwide company helping women and their families live healthy lives, discovers, develops, manufactures and markets rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for detection of medical conditions and illnesses. These products provide accurate, rapid and cost-effective diagnostic information for acute and chronic conditions associated with women's health in areas such as reproduction and diseases of the elderly. Quidel also provides point-of-care diagnostics for infectious diseases, including influenza A and B, Strep throat, H. pylori infection, chlamydia, infectious mononucleosis and infectious vaginitis. Quidel's products are sold to healthcare professionals for use in physician offices, clinical laboratories and pharmacies, and to consumers through organizations that provide private label, store brand products. These tests provide diagnostic information that enables rapid treatment and improves health outcomes, lowers costs and increases patient satisfaction. For more information, please visit Quidel's Web site at www.quidel.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws that involve material risk and uncertainties. Many possible events or factors could affect our future financial results and performance, such that our actual results and performance may differ materially. As such, no forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Differences in operating results may arise as a result of a number of factors including, without limitation, seasonality, adverse changes in the competitive and economic conditions in domestic and international markets, actions of our major distributors, manufacturing and production delays or difficulties, adverse actions or delays in product reviews by the FDA and the lower acceptance of our new products than forecast. Forward-looking statements typically are identified by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "should," "might," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. The risks described under "Risk Factors" and in other sections of our Form 10-K for year ended December 31, 2001, and in other reports and registration statements that we file with the SEC from time to time should be carefully considered. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management's analysis only as of the date of this presentation. We undertake no obligation to publicly release the results of any revision of the forward-looking statements.

Quidel Corporation
Paul E. Landers, 858/552-7962
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Ina McGuinness, imcguinness@lhai.com
Bruce Voss, bvoss@lhai.com