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Leerink Swann Lowers Estimate for Illumina's Q1 Revenues, EPS

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Investment firm Leerink Swann today lowered its revenue and EPS estimates for Illumina from a week ago to reflect lost consumables sales on its older next-gen sequencing platforms and softer microarray consumables sales sequentially.

Dan Leonard, an analyst at Leerink Swann, trimmed first quarter revenue estimates to $270.3 million from $288.8 million he forecast last week. The updated figure remains above an earlier $268.2 million he had estimated.

He also lowered EPS for the first quarter to $.33 from $.39 last week, and even with a prior estimate.

Illumina is scheduled to report its first quarter earnings on April 26.

For full-year 2011, Leonard gave a revenue estimate of $1.11 billion, down from $1.14 billion forecast last week, and above an earlier estimate of 1.10 billion. He lowered estimated EPS to $1.46 from $1.51 last week, and above an earlier estimate of $1.39.

He maintained a $79 to $81 valuation on Illumina.

In a research note, Leonard wrote his new estimates better reflect several factors, including Illumina's ability to manage its business more linearly than he had assumed, as well as the impact of lost consumables sales on Illumina's GA IIx trade-ins, which partially eats into ramp-up in consumables on its HiSeq systems.

He added that during the past two years first-quarter sales of microarray consumables softened compared to prior fourth-quarter sales.

Leonard increased his revenue estimates for full-year 2012 by $2 million to $1.28 billion, and kept EPS estimates at $1.90.

"Despite the $25 million reduction in our 2011 revenue forecast … our 2012 revenue forecast is largely unchanged … which we believe better reflects the impact of HiSeq consumables pull-through with a smaller relative offset from lost GA IIx consumables," he said.

He added that there are also upsides to his forecasting, such as sales of refurbished GA IIx's to price-sensitive regions, thermal cycler sales, and upside from Illumina's purchase of Epicentre Biotechnologies earlier this year.