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Orchid Posts Broader Revenue and Widened Loss in Q4; Two Units Eye Black

NEW YORK, Feb. 28 - Orchid BioSciences on Thursday reported a 112 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue as a significant increase in total expenses fueled a widened net loss.

For the period ended Dec. 31, Orchid reported total revenue of $11.4 million compared with $5.4 million one year ago, an increase the company pinned on increased sales of its SNPware and MegaSNPatron tools, and from its DNA identity-testing services and license fees.

Total expenses in the fourth quarter jumped to $24.9 million from $19.3 million reported last year, an increase driven largely by a surge in manufacturing costs, which came in at $1.2 million compared with $356,000 year over year.

Selling and administrative costs also increased in the quarter, to $10.2 million compared with $8.7 million in the fourth quarter 2000, and R&D spending saw a $181,000 year-over-year hop, according to Orchid.

As a result, the company posted a net loss in the quarter that widened to $17.0 million, or $.41 per share, from $13.3 million, or $.40 per share, one year ago.

Looking forward, Orchid said it expects revenues to surpass $62 million this year.

"We expect to grow our revenues two-fold, improve our margins, reduce our quarterly net operating burn to the high single digits in the second half of the year, and realize operating profitability in two of our business units by year-end," Donald R. Marvin, Orchid's CFO and COO, said in a statement. The two units are Orchid's identity-genomics business and its new diagnostics business.


As of Dec. 31, the Princeton, NJ-based company said it had just under $30 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

On Wednesday Orchid pocketed approximately $20 million in a special stock offering announced last week. The company said it sold 8 million shares of common stock that were offered through a prospectus supplement  in-line with the company's shelf-registration.

Robertson Stephens acted as the underwriter of the offering, and Orchid has granted the financial firm the option to buy as many as 1.2 million more shares. If taken, this option would dump $3 million more into Orchid's pot.

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