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Ciphergen Expects 50-Percent Drop in Q1 Revenues; Broadly Restructures Sales Program

NEW YORK, April 5 (GenomeWeb News) - Ciphergen Biosystems said yesterday that disappointing sales will cause its revenues for the first quarter to fall significantly short of earlier expectations. The company now expects to generate between $6.3 million and $6.7 million in revenues - or about half its receipts during the same period last year.

 

Earlier this year, Ciphergen projected first-quarter revenues of between $8 million and $9 million.

 

In response to the shortfall, Ciphergen said it has started restructuring its sales program, including installing a new vice president of North Americanand European sales. The company also said it would boost its public relations effort.

 

"We are disappointed with our anticipated sales results for the first quarter," CEO Bill Rich said in a statement. He added that Ciphergen is "enthusiastic about the future growth of the company as we continue to address the emerging biomarker proteomics research, pharma and diagnostic markets."

 

Ciphergen said it will discuss company activities in a conference call on May 6, when it plans to release its first-quarter earnings.

 

Pacific Growth Equities, which covers Ciphergen, said in a report today that it is "starting to look grim" for the proteomics company. Pacific Growth expects Ciphergen to make between $4 million and $5 million in additional cuts in costs.

 

The company's cash position, approximately $30 million, which is expected to last for one year of operations, "is worrisome to us," the investment bank said. It said it expects Ciphergen shares to fall further "as the company has missed every quarter since we initiated coverage over a year ago."

 

Since Jan. 1, Ciphergen's shares have lost about 40 percent of their value, and the stock last night closed a penny above its 52-week low.

 

Ciphergen's annoucnement soon after a number of shareholders called for a no-confidence vote to oust top management.

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