(Reuters) - Becton Dickinson and Co on Thursday forecast a sharp decline in COVID-19 test sales for fiscal year 2023 as it expects the testing market to shrink next year with infections dropping.
The medical equipment maker forecast COVID testing sales to be in the range of $125 million to $175 million for its current fiscal year, compared with $511 million it generated a year earlier.
A fall in COVID cases has also led rivals such as Abbott Laboratories and Thermo Fisher Scientific to forecast lower sales of coronavirus test kits.
Abbott, which sells the rapid antigen test BinaxNOW among others, expects $500 million in COVID sales as the disease becomes endemic, while Thermo Fisher expects $100 million per quarter in the near future.
"Since none of us exactly knows the course that COVID infections are going to take going forward, it seems reasonable and very prudent for Becton and other companies to guide conservatively," Stifel analyst Rick Wise said in an interview.
With the cases falling, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September announced its plans to review only a small number of emergency use authorization requests for COVID tests, and ask companies to instead apply for a traditional review.
BD, which starts its financial year from October unlike others that follow calendar year, is the first large test maker to give an outlook for next year.
(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)
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