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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

How COVID Tests Helped Turn A Cincinnati Company Around

Courtesy of Meridian Bioscience
Meridian Bioscience was the first to develop components for the Zika virus and quickly pivoted to tackle COVID-19.

A recent Nasdaq post suggested people use their stimulus check to buy Meridian Bioscience stock. The recommendation came after the Newtown company nearly doubled its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020. How did it do it? COVID-19 tests.

Meridian Bioscience, a diagnostic company, was struggling the past couple of years and expected just modest growth last year. But then coronavirus hit and CEO Jack Kenny told analysts in November, "Fiscal 2020 has been quite a wild ride."

It turns out Meridian had 26% growth and $253 million in sales for 2020. This year sales are projected to be $300 million. "We are very optimistic," Kenny says. "We think the best time and best years are still ahead of us."

However, he says, "we are also a company that is trading below the multiples of some of our peers." Kenny thinks it will be a few years before Meridian is valued like some of its peer companies.

"We have cracked into significant sales in India, Turkey and a lot in China," he says.

As Meridian continues to deliver components of COVID tests sold by others around the globe, it has recently developed and manufactured its own test. It just started selling it in the last four to five weeks.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.