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BioCommerce Week s Index to the Diversified Molecular Biology Tools Companies: Oct 21, 2004


Harvard Bioscience Shares Plunge, Molecular Devices Up

With shares of Harvard Bioscience dropping 13 percent, and Bio-Rad falling 11 percent, the BioCommerce Week Index this week ended down for the third time in the last four weeks.

Harvard Bioscience has lost 19 percent of its market capitalization in the last two weeks while Bio-Rad saw a 9-percent gain last week reversed this week.

Harvard Bioscience's stock has fallen near its 52-week low, on a downturn that started on May 6, when the stock fell 45 percent following the release of the company's Q1 results.

At the time, Chane Graziano, CEO of Harvard Bioscience, said the results were "extremely disappointing" and attributed them partially to the company's Genomic Solutions operating unit.

In July, after announcing revenues of $22.5 million for the second quarter, compared to $22.4 million for the same period the previous year, the company laid off 35 employees from the Genomic Solutions unit and shuttered the Genomic Solutions San Carlos, Calif., production site.

In August, the company named CFO Susan Luscinski as chief operating officer, and hired Bryce Chicoyne from Apogent Technologies as new CFO.

The company will report its Q3 earnings on Oct. 25.

In an earnings preview issued Oct. 18, Pacific Growth Equities said that Harvard Bioscience's third-quarter results would quantify the effectiveness of the reorganization of the Genomics Solutions unit and noted that shares of the company are trading at a discount compared to its life sciences peers, based on the firm's valuation metric derived from estimates of earning.

For the week ending Tuesday, Molecular Devices finished at $24.73, up 5 percent from $23.50 last week.

Shares of eight BCW Index companies closed down.

Overall, the index was down 1 percent, from $31.73 last week to $31.44 this week. The Amex Biotech index finished up 5 percent, while the Pharmaceutical Index fell a half percent. The Dow Jones Industrial and the S&P 500 were down approximately 2 percent while the Nasdaq fell just over 1 percent.

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