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Cepheid Reports Q2 Revenues Up 66 Percent, But Slowed Sales

NEW YORK, July 24 - Cepheid announced on Tuesday second-quarter revenues of $2 million, compared to $1.2 million from the year ago period. For the six months ended June 30, Cepheid's revenues increased to $5.4 million from $2.1 million.

The maker of equipment for rapidly preparing and analyzing DNA attributed the increase to the extension of sales of its Smart Cycler DNA testing system. During this latest quarter, Cepheid sold the Smart Cycler within North America, Europe, and Asia; in the year ago period, it had access to only the US market.

Product sales for the six-month period were $2.9 million. The company also reported an increase in contract revenue of $379,000 relative to the second quarter 2000.

However, compared to the first quarter of 2001, the company reported a decrease in product sales: Cepheid sold only 60 Smart Cyclers in the second quarter, but 100 in the first. Cepheid attributed the decrease in sales to inventory re-balancing by Fisher Scientific, a US supplier that reduced the number of units on hand, and therefore ordered less of the technology.

Cepheid is currently involved in litigation with Fisher in relation to Cepheid's hiring of two former Fisher employees. In terms of what this could mean to the company's next financial quarters, Cepheid CEO Tom Gutshall said during a conference call, "we're working together to form some sort of resolution to this," and declined to comment any further.

Research and development expenses decreased to $3.6 million from $4.1 million in the year ago period, while selling, general, and administrative costs rose to $1.6 million from $1.3 million in the second quarter, 2000. Cepheid attributed the increase in those expenses to expanding personnel and the extra expenses associated with being a public company.

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