After weeks of backlogged COVID-19 tests, the CEO of LabCorp said on an earnings call Wednesday that the company now has additional testing capacity
"We're not using all of our capacity at the 60,000 per day right now," CEO Adam Schechter said on the call. "I think that's just short term. I think as states become up and running and back to business, I think we'll be at full capacity in the very near future."
Burlington, N.C.-based LabCorp currently can perform 60,000 tests for the illness caused by the coronavirus per day, and Schechter said he'd like to bump that to more than 100,000 tests per day as soon as possible. Moving forward, the CEO predicted LabCorp's COVID-19 testing will run at capacity for some time.
Last week, LabCorp became the first company to get FDA clearance for its at-home COVID-19 test kit.
While LabCorp charges Medicare $100 for its COVID-19 test, the company hasn't yet decided on a price for its COVID-19 serology test, which indicates whether someone has recovered from the virus through detection of COVID-19 antibodies in the blood.
The market is uncertain when it comes to demand for antibody testing, Schechter said. LabCorp can currently perform more than 50,000 antibody tests per day and expects to ramp that up to more than 200,000 per day by mid-May.
"I don't know how long it will take, though, in order for us to use all of that capacity per day," he said.
That's because large companies talking about reopening have different positions on the need for testing: Some have indicated they'll do widespread antibody testing, while others say they won't.
LabCorp's revenue grew 1.2% in the first quarter to $2.8 billion. The company recorded a $192.6 million operating loss in the quarter, compared with $318.2 million in operating income in the prior-year period. LabCorp said the loss was primarily due to the negative impact of COVID-19, including an up to 60% drop in its diagnostic test volume.