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Charles River (CRL) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Robust demand for research models and the Vigene Biosciences buyout are likely to have contributed to growth for Charles River (CRL).

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. CRL is expected to report third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 3, before market open.

- Zacks

In the last reported quarter, the company’s adjusted earnings per share of $2.61 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.2%. The company’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 16.73%.

Let’s take a look at how things have shaped up prior to this announcement.

Factors at Play

The Research Models and Services (RMS) segment is registering sturdy performance over the past few months banking on the recovery in Research Model order activity following the COVID-related disruption. RMS’ revenue growth in the second quarter was primarily led by robust demand for research models in China. With the overall macro-economic scenario remaining unchanged in China, this is expected to have continued in the third quarter. Meanwhile, strong demand for research models outside China is also likely to have driven growth.

In its second-quarter earnings call, Charles River noted that its client base in China had shifted from being dominated by academic and government accounts to a vibrant mid-tier biotech and CRO client base. This expansion in client base can also be viewed as a potential growth driver for the RMS arm. Further, new academic client wins in the second quarter, from client shutdowns related to COVID-19 last year and, more recently, digital engagements aimed at the academic client base also make room for growth in the RMS arm.

Within the Discovery and Safety Assessment (DSA) arm, the Safety Assessment business is likely to have gained from robust demand from both biotech and global biopharma clients coupled with price increases, as it did in the previous quarter. The company earlier noted that it is well-positioned to meet this robust demand as it continues to expand its scale, science and innovative technologies through a combination of internal investment, M&A and strategic partnership strategy. The Discovery business is likely to have gained from the comprehensive portfolio of oncology, CNS, early discovery and antibody discovery capabilities in the third quarter. In its second-quarter earnings update, the company noted that these capabilities were enhanced through the Distributed Bio and Retrogenix acquisitions. Further, bookings and proposal volume continued to reach record highs in the second quarter, with strength across all regions and main service areas. This trend is likely to have continued in the third quarter, driving the top line.

The Manufacturing Support, similar to the second quarter, is expected to have gained from revenue growth in the Biologics Testing Solutions and Microbial Solutions businesses. In the second quarter, strong demand for cell and gene therapy testing services as well as COVID-19 vaccination work drove the Biologics Testing business. Notably, Charles River expects cell and gene therapies to be long-term growth drivers. Further, the company earlier stated that the commercial production of COVID vaccines is likely to continue for many years to come, which will support the demand for manufacturing services. This should get reflected through the company’s third-quarter results.

The acquisition of Vigene Biosciences, completed in late June, is also likely to have helped the Manufacturing Support arm grow in the third quarter. The Vigene Biosciences buyout, with its viral vector-based gene delivery systems, enables the firm to achieve its goal of building a comprehensive cell and gene therapy portfolio that covers all the key CDMO platforms.

Q3 Estimates

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter 2021 revenues is pegged at $908.6 million, suggesting a 22.2% surge over the year-ago reported figure.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s third-quarter 2021 earnings per share of $2.56 indicates a 9.9% uptick from the year-ago reported figure.

What Our Model Suggests

Per our proven model, a stock with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) along with a positive Earnings ESP has higher chances of beating estimates. However, this is not the case here as you can see:

Earnings ESP: The company has an Earnings ESP of +1.12%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Stocks Worth a Look

Here are a few stocks worth considering, as these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

Horizon Therapeutics Public Limited Company HZNP has an Earnings ESP of +0.97% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company will release third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Insulet Corporation PODD has an Earnings ESP of +15.79% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company is scheduled to release third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 4.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated VRTX has an Earnings ESP of +10.62% and a Zacks Rank of 2. The company will report third-quarter 2021 results on Nov 2.



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