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Affymetrix, Helicos Shares Tumble in October

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of Affymetrix and Helicos BioSciences dropped sharply in October, as 28 of the 34 stocks in the GenomeWeb Daily News Index lost value during the month.

Those two firms were the biggest decliners among a group of five stocks that dropped more than 20 percent. Affy fell 40 percent and Helicos dropped 34 percent, while Decode Genetics tumbled 33 percent amid its continued financial difficulties, Illumina sank 24 percent, and Caliper Life Sciences fell 22 percent.

Affy's shares have declined everyday since reporting on Oct. 21 financial results that missed analysts' top- and bottom-line estimates. Though its Q3 revenues rose 4 percent, Affy missed analysts' consensus estimate by $2.5 million.

Helicos' shares have been trending downward for the past couple of weeks, and are down sharply from early September, when they hit a high of $3.47. The firm said last week that it expects to recognize $5 million from systems orders and associated reagent purchases during the fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010. It has yet to release its third-quarter results.

Of the six stocks that gained value during October, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Waters led the way with a 3 percent rise each.

Both firms surpassed analysts' expectations with their revenue and profit figures for the third quarter. Thermo Fisher's revenues declined 2 percent, but its net income inched up around 1 percent on strong consumables sales. Meanwhile, Waters also reported a decline in revenues, but it beat analysts' estimates, and the firm said that it is seeing a stabilization in its end markets.

Overall, the GWDN Index fell 5 percent amid a tough month for tech stocks, and biotech stocks in particular. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was virtually unchanged for the month, but the Nasdaq dropped 4 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index lost 10 percent of its value in October.

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