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ABI Warns of 12 Percent Drop in Instrument Sales for Fourth Quarter 2001

NEW YORK, July 10 - Applied Biosystems said Tuesday that it expects its revenue from instrument sales in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2001 to drop 12 percent to $192 million compared with $217 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company blamed the current economic slowdown for the decrease as well as an instrument glut because its customers bought "record-high" numbers of its instruments in the prior fiscal year.

ABI said it expected the next several quarterly results to also reflect lower instrument sales compared to the same periods in fiscal year 2001. The company plans to release its full year-end results on July 26. Overall, company revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to rise 3.5 percent, to $405 million from $392 million.

The company also added that it anticipates sales of consumables to rise to $158 million from $126 million in the year-ago quarter, a 26 percent increase. Other revenue, from licensing fees and other sources, rose from $49 million to $55 million, a 12 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2000.

In March, ABI cut its forecast for near-term sales growth to about 10 to 15 percent, compared with a longer-term forecast for a compounded 20 percent growth rate, citing a drop in demand as a result of the economic downturn. At the time, analysts attributed the slide to a drop in demand for ABI's 3700 sequencers, but noted that the company was demonstrating increased sales for its lower throughput models.

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