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Celera s Q1 Net Losses Up but Beat the Street by 17 Cents

NEW YORK, Oct 26 – Celera blew past analysts’ expectations on Thursday, with first-quarter fiscal 2001 results that beat the street’s estimate by 17 cents a share.

In the company's first fiscal quarter it reported a net loss of $25.7, or 43 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $19.4 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Wall Street had estimated Celera would post a loss of 60 cents a share, based on a survey of five analysts conducted by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Shares of Celera up 3 3/8, or 5.1 percent, at 69 in morning trading.

Revenues for the quarter more than doubled to $18.3 million, compared with $8.3 million a year ago, as the company signed on new subscribers, Celera said.

Research and development costs rose 45 percent to $46.8 million and selling, general, and administrative expenses were up 55 percent to $13 million. Celera attributed the increase to its efforts to expand its sales and marketing infrastructure.

The company recorded a non-cash charge of $11.1 million stemming from expenses related to the acquisition of Paracel in June.

In addition to offering subscriptions to its databases, Celera is currently developing its own discovery platform and accelerating gene discovery work. The company is also planning to jump into proteomics with the building of an “industrial-scale” protein research facility in Rockville.

“We've uncovered information that we believe will be essential to move the study of genomics and proteomics forward," said Craig Venter, Celera’s president and chief scientific officer. " We are increasing our investment in an expanded comparative and functional genomics effort that should enhance our understanding of the human genome and enable us to build an exciting new gene and protein discovery system."

During the quarter, the company announced several new deals, including database subscription agreements with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, the California Institute of Technology, and the Institute for Genomic Research.

Last month the Howard Hughes Medical Institute agreed to purchase access to Celera’s reference libraries and Valigen entered into an agreement for the company’s integrated database products and bioinformatics systems as well as other discovery tools.

The company also launched a SNP database for the human genome and announced substantial progress in sequencing the mouse genome.

Recently, Celera said that it delivered the assembled human genome to its pharmaceutical customers.   

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