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Consumables Sales Push Fluidigm Q4 Revenues up 33 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm reported after the close of the market on Thursday a 33 percent increase in its fourth quarter revenues that included a 47 percent spike in consumables revenues.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2013 the firm recorded $20.9 million in total revenues, up from $15.7 million in Q4 2012. On average, analysts expected revenues of $20.7 million for the quarter.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based firm said that instrument revenues rose 26 percent to $12.1 million from $9.6 million, while its consumables revenues were up to $8.5 million from $5.8 million.

The growth in the instrument business was driven by improved sales of Fluidigm's BioMark and C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System, the company said, adding that the installed instrument base at the end of 2013 was about 920 units, with analytical systems — BioMark, BioMark HD, and EP1 —comprising about 530 units, and preparatory systems comprising the rest. Those include the Access Array and C1 platforms.

On a conference call following the release of the company's financial results, Fluidigm President and CEO Gajus Worthington said that of the 920 system placements, more than 300 combined BioMark and C1 systems were designated for single-cell research.

"We believe we are tracking well toward our goal of approximately 700 Fluidigm single-cell systems by the end of 2015," he said.

The consumables business growth was driven by production genomics applications, Fluidigm said. Those applications represented about 60 percent of the firm's total consumables revenues in the quarter and was up 60 percent year over year, Worthington said on the call

Consumables pull-through in the fourth quarter was within the historical range of $40,000 to $50,000 per instrument per year for analytical systems, the firm said, and above the historical range of $10,000 to $15,000 per instrument per year for preparatory systems.

CFO Vikram Jog said on the call that Fluidigm now expects the consumables pull-through on its preparatory systems to range from $15,000 to $25,000 per system per year, "given the trend over the last four quarters and our current visibility into future quarters."

Product revenues in the quarter were up 34 percent to $20.6 million from $15.4 million, while license and grant revenues shrank 16 percent to $249,000 from $297,000.

The firm had a net loss of $3.9 million, or $.15 per share, for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $3.6 million, or $.14 per share, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, net loss per share was $.04. The average analyst estimate was for a net loss of $.15 per share.

Fluidigm's R&D spending rose 28 percent to $5.5 million from $4.3 million, while SG&A spending increased 25 percent to $13.2 million from $10.6 million.

For full-year 2013, Fluidigm's total revenues increased 36 percent to $71.2 million from $52.3 million, nudging past the consensus Wall Street estimate of $71.0 million.

Instrument revenues grew to $41.1 million from $29.2 million, a 41 percent spike, while consumables revenues were up 30 percent to $29.1 million from $22.3 million.

Product revenues jumped 36 percent to $70.2 million from $51.5 million, and license and grant revenues increased 16 percent to $985,000 from $846,000.

Single-cell genomics revenues represented about half of the company's product revenues for 2013 and nearly doubled year over year, Worthington said on the call, adding that such applications are expected to continue to be a strong growth driver in 2014, though not at the same pace as in 2013 due to more difficult year-over-year comparisons.

"We forecast the overall single-cell genomics market should continue to grow at a [compounded annual growth rate] of 50 percent beyond 2015, leading to a $450 million market opportunity by 2017," he said.

Of Fluidigm's production genomics business, he estimated a total addressable opportunity of $285 million in ag-bio, biobanking, and clinical laboratories. While the number of addressable customers is significantly lower than those in the research market, the consumables pull-through per system "can be orders of magnitude higher than what we experience in research markets," he said.

Accordingly, Fluidigm will be making additional hires of dedicated sales people to focus on key accounts in production genomics, Worthington said.

Fluidigm's net loss for the year improved to $15.8 million, or $.62 per share, from a net loss of $19.0 million, or $.86 per share, in 2012. The adjusted loss per share was $.31, compared to the consensus analyst estimate of $.62 per share.

Fluidigm exited 2013 with $35.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $49.1 million in short-term investments.

"2013 was a breakout year for Fluidigm, as we accelerated our top-line growth, solidified our leadership in the single-cell genomics market, and expanded our installed base by approximately 250 instruments," Worthington said in a statement. "In 2014, we expect to continue to set the pace in the single-cell analysis market with our anticipated acquisition of DVS Sciences, expanding and diversifying our analytical breadth to include multi-parameter single-cell protein analysis,"

The firm announced last week that it will purchase DVS for $207.5 million.

The company projects revenues to grow between 23 percent and 28 percent during 2014. The guidance excludes the anticipated impact from the DVS deal.

Shares of Fluidigm traded down around 8 percent at $42.18 on Friday morning after investment bank Cowen and Co. downgraded its rating on Fluidigm's stock to Market Perform from Outperform.