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Celera Faces Shareholder Suit

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Celera today said that a shareholder suit filed against the firm and certain officers yesterday is without merit and it intends to "vigorously defend the action."

The Alameda, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics firm said that the lawsuit alleges that between April 24, 2008 and July 22, 2009, the company issued false and misleading statements about its business and financial results. The suit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of an alleged class of purchasers of the firm's stock during that period.

During the period specified in the lawsuit, Celera's shares fell 49 percent from its April 23, 2008 close of $15.15 to its July 22, 2009 close of $7.74. On April 24, 2008, Celera reported that its third-quarter revenues had increased four-fold, due primarily to two acquisitions during the previous year, while its net loss widened on a variety of charges to earnings.

A couple of months later, Celera completed its split from then-parent firm Applera.

At the end of the period cited in the lawsuit, Celera announced that it was implementing a restructuring plan in response to sagging revenues. The drop was due to lower sales from its Berkeley HeartLab business.

In early trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Celera were up just over 1 percent at $7.02.

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