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ABI's Fiscal Q1 Revenue Rises 5 Percent as Loss Turns to Profit; Firm Launches SOLiD Sequencer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Applied Biosystems today reported that fiscal first-quarter revenues rose 5 percent as R&D spending swelled 12 percent and a loss swung to a profit.

Separately today, the company announced the “worldwide commercial availability” of its SOLiD next-generation sequencer.

Total receipts for the three months ended Sept. 30 increased to $501.2 million from $476.3 million year over year and were “broadly in line with what we expected in view of the 15-percent increase in the prior-year first quarter,” Tony White, CEO of ABI’s parent company Applera, said in a statement.
Revenue from the company’s DNA-sequencing segment slipped around 2 percent to $129 million; real-time PCR and applied genomics sales rose 15 percent to $180.1 million; mass spectrometry revenue increased 4 percent to $121.1 million; core PCR and DNA-synthesis sales rose 1 percent to $46.6 million; while “other” sales fell 8 percent to $24.4 million.  
R&D spending rose to $50.6 million from $45.1 million in the year-ago period, due to developing the SOLiD instrument, the company said.  
The company reported a $60.9 million profit in the quarter compared with a $58.7 million loss in the year-ago period. The net loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 was “directly attributable to a non-recurring charge of $114.3 million for the write-off of acquired in-process research and development associated with the acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics,” ABI said.
ABI said it expects “mid- to high-single-digit [revenue] growth” for fiscal 2008, with revenues increasing in both instruments and consumables, including sequencing, RT-PCR, and mass spectrometry.
As for its SOLiD platform, the company began an early-access program in June. ABI has since said it has increased read lengths on the instrument by 40 percent and has improved throughput fourfold. The system can deliver up to 4 billion bases of sequence data per run, ABI said.

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