Meridian Bioscience Named Founding Member to New NASDAQ Dividend Achievers Index
CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 24, 2006--Meridian Bioscience, Inc., (NASDAQ:VIVO) today announced that it has been included in the new NASDAQ Dividend Achievers Index as a founding member. Quoting, in part, from the February 22, 2006 press release of the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.
The NASDAQ Dividend Achievers Index is designed to track the performance of U.S. companies that are listed on NASDAQ and meet Dividend Achievers requirements of increased annual regular dividend payments for the last 10 or more consecutive years. A subset of Mergent's Broad Dividend Achievers Index, the Index offers a unique approach for NASDAQ investors seeking a long-term portfolio of higher risk-adjusted returns. NASDAQ Executive Vice President, John Jacobs commented, "The NASDAQ Dividend Achievers Indexes will provide investors with a new and useful tool that seeks to track the performance of some of NASDAQ's largest and industry leading companies. We are pleased to collaborate with Mergent to create indexes that are comprised of diverse sets of NASDAQ companies. Indexing is a recognized strategy that appeals to many investors." Mergent's Dividend Achievers are companies that have increased their annual regular dividends for at least the past 10 consecutive years and have met specific liquidity screening criteria. The Dividend Achievers are typically companies with strong cash reserves, solid balance sheets and a proven record of consistent earnings growth. Mergent has been identifying these strong dividend-paying companies for more than 25 years. The NASDAQ Dividend Achievers Index is calculated using a market capitalization weighting methodology. The index will be calculated and disseminated on a price return basis (NASDAQ:DIVQ) and a total return basis (NASDAQ:DVQT).
William J. Motto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our long history of increasing cash dividends supported by a well-defined policy have served to enhance shareholder wealth. Meridian has increased its regular cash dividend rate fourteen times since it established a regular dividend sixteen years ago. Guided by the Company's policy of setting a payout ratio between 75% and 85% of each fiscal year's expected net earnings, the actual declaration and amount of dividends will be determined by the Board of Directors in its discretion based upon its evaluation of earnings, cash flow requirements and future business developments, including acquisitions. The current indicated cash dividend rate is $0.46 per share, an increase of 44% over the fiscal 2005 rate of $0.32 per share."
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor from civil litigation for forward-looking statements accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements. Except for historical information, this report contains forward-looking statements which may be identified by words such as "estimates", "anticipates", "projects", "plans", "seeks", "may", "will", "expects", "intends", "believes", "should" and similar expressions or the negative versions thereof and which also may be identified by their context. Such statements are based upon current expectations of the Company and speak only as of the date made. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ, including, without limitation, the following: Meridian's continued growth depends, in part, on its ability to introduce into the marketplace enhancements of existing products or new products that incorporate technological advances, meet customer requirements and respond to products developed by Meridian's competition. While Meridian has introduced a number of internally developed products, there can be no assurance that it will be successful in the future in introducing such products on a timely basis. Ongoing consolidations of reference laboratories and formation of multi-hospital alliances may cause adverse changes to pricing and distribution. Costs and difficulties in complying with laws and regulations administered by the United States Food and Drug Administration can result in unanticipated expenses and delays and interruptions to the sale of new and existing products. Changes in the relative strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar can change expected results. One of Meridian's main growth strategies is the acquisition of companies and product lines. There can be no assurance that additional acquisitions will be consummated or that, if consummated, will be successful and the acquired businesses successfully integrated into Meridian's operations.
Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic test kits, purified reagents and related products and offers biopharmaceutical enabling technologies. Utilizing a variety of methods, these diagnostic products and tests provide accuracy, simplicity and speed in the early diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal, viral, urinary and respiratory infections. Meridian diagnostic products are used outside of the human body and require little or no special equipment. The Company's products are designed to enhance patient well-being while reducing the total outcome costs of healthcare. Meridian has strong market positions in the areas of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections, serology, parasitology and fungal disease diagnosis. In addition, Meridian is a supplier of rare reagents, specialty biologicals and related technologies used by biopharmaceutical companies engaged in research for new drugs and vaccines. The Company markets its products and technologies to hospitals, reference laboratories, research centers, veterinary testing centers, physician offices, diagnostics manufacturers and biotech companies in more than 60 countries around the world. The Company's shares are traded through Nasdaq's National Market, symbol VIVO. Meridian's website address is www.meridianbioscience.com.
CONTACT: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.
John A. Kraeutler or Melissa Lueke, 513-271-3700
SOURCE: Meridian Bioscience, Inc.