Siemens nearly doubles diagnostics forecast for the year amid renewed COVID testing surge

As the overwhelming majority of its peers in diagnostic development significantly scale back their predicted earnings from COVID-19 tests for the rest of the year, Siemens Healthineers is moving in the complete opposite direction.

Rather than tempering expectations and rolling back coronavirus testmaking work in recent months, Siemens has watched its COVID-related earnings balloon since the start of the year—and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

In the second quarter of its fiscal year 2022, the German devicemaker reported (PDF) total revenues of just under 1.8 billion euros, or about $1.9 billion, for its diagnostics segment. That’s more than 37% higher than the same period last year, growth that the company attributed almost solely to a surge in demand for its COVID tests. Case in point: COVID revenues for the quarter were more than three-and-a-half times higher than in the second quarter of Siemens’ fiscal year 2021, reaching almost 680 million euros ($717 million).

Much of that growth came from the launch of Siemens’ rapid antigen test in the U.S. in January of this year, leading to a high double-digit increase in the company’s revenues in the Americas. Its Europe, Middle East and Africa regions also saw similar levels of growth, though its revenues from Asia and Australia saw a slight year-over-year drop as China renewed its strict anti-pandemic public health policies.

Looking beyond the diagnostics realm, Siemens reported companywide revenue of about 5.5 billion euros, or around $5.8 billion—representing year-over-year growth of nearly 16%.

Thanks to that heightened demand for rapid antigen tests, Siemens has upped its full-year 2022 forecasts, CEO Bernd Montag said in a statement.

He added, “Our purpose is to pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare for everyone, everywhere—especially in times like these. Our business continues to show great resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges.”

The new predictions estimate that the company’s total earnings will grow by at least 5.5% and up to 7.5%, compared to a previous outlook that maxed out its growth at 5%.

Siemens’ COVID testing revenue predictions alone have nearly doubled since a quarter ago. Now, the testmaker is expecting to rake in about 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in rapid antigen diagnostic sales for the full year, compared to the 700 million euro estimate it made at the end of its first fiscal quarter. The renewed outlook marks an even higher leap from the beginning of the year, when Siemens projected that it would take in just 200 million euros from COVID testing throughout all of 2022.

Siemens is largely alone in its optimistic view of COVID test revenues for the rest of the year. Though fellow testmakers like Abbott, Roche and Thermo Fisher also saw their diagnostics earnings surge in the first three months of 2022, those companies are making much more conservative predictions for the segment’s behavior in the coming months.

All three of those companies warned investors on recent earnings calls that they were expecting COVID revenues to massively drop off after a last hurrah to kick off the year. Thermo Fisher, for example, said it is expecting sales to plummet from $1.68 billion in the first quarter of the year to a comparatively meager $225 million in the second quarter before plateauing around $100 million per quarter for the rest of 2022.