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Applied Biosystems' Q4 Revenues Rise 9 Percent

This article has been updated to include comments from a conference call and a stock quote.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb news) – Amid its split with sister company Celera and recently announced $6.7 billion merger with Invitrogen, Applied Biosystems reported today that its fourth-quarter revenues rose 9 percent.
The Foster City, Calif.-based firm brought in revenues of $609 million for the three-month period ended June 30, compared to revenues of $557.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2007.
Revenue from DNA sequencing products rose 9 percent to $151.7 million from $138.6 million; revenue from real-time PCR/applied genomics products increased 15 percent to $221.9 million from $192.6 million; revenue from mass spectrometry products gained 4 percent to $152 million from $146.2 million; sales of core PCR and DNA synthesis products increased 11 percent to $53.5 million from $48.2 million; and revenue from other product lines dropped 6 percent to $29.9 million from $31.7 million.
ABI’s instrument revenue rose 5 percent for the quarter to $254.1 million, while its consumables revenue climbed 13 percent to $249.9 million.
ABI posted a profit of $86.4 million, or $.50 per share, compared to net earnings of $87.8 million, or $.42 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. Last year’s results included $8.5 million in after-tax income from discontinued operations that wasn’t repeated in 2008.
ABI’s R&D costs dipped 1.9 percent to $52.5 million from $53.5 million, while SG&A expenses increased 10.1 percent to $176.4 million from $160.2 million year over year.
For fiscal 2008, ABI had revenues of $2.22 billion, up 6.2 percent from $2.09 billion. Its DNA sequencing revenues increased 3 percent to $573.9 million; real-time PCR/applied genomics revenues rose 14 percent to $803.4 million; mass spectrometry sales rose 3 percent to $539.2 million; core PCR and DNA synthesis sales increased 5 percent to $199.8 million; and other product lines declined 6 percent to $108.4 million.

Mark Stevenson, president and COO of ABI, said during the firm's conference call today that ABI has secured nearly 100 orders for its SOLiD DNA sequencing system to date, with around 75 of the orders coming from customers outside of the major genome centers. He said interest in ABI’s system has increased since its released version 2.0 in early May.

Stevenson said the firm is winning around 40 percent of all instrument sales into the next-generation DNA sequencing market with the SOLiD system against competitors including Roche and Illumina. “We know where the orders were going on last quarter,” he said. “We counted up all of the orders we won, and counted up the numbers we lost to competitors.”

The firm’s 2008 profit was $316.6 million, or $1.78 per share, compared to a 2007 profit of $179.4 million, or $.90 per share. Last year’s results included a $114.3 million expense for the write-off of acquired in-process R&D related to the Agencourt technology.

ABI’s R&D expenses for the year dipped 3.8 percent to $196.1 million from $203.9 million, while its SG&A costs increased 7.8 percent to $639.3 million from $593 million.
ABI finished the quarter and fiscal year with cash and short-term investments of $543.2 million.
In Thursday afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange, sahres of ABI were up 2.3 percent at $35.79.
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