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Tough January for Waters' and Bruker's Stocks; Cepheid Continues Rise

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – In a rollercoaster month for the stock market, some firms in the newly constituted GenomeWeb Daily News Index (see below) fared much better than others during January.
 
The top three gainers for the month included Compugen (+71.9 percent), Helicos Biosciences (+19.7 percent), and Cepheid (+15.9 percent). At the other end of the spectrum, the leading decliners for January included Waters (-27.5 percent), Vermillion (-25.9 percent), and Bruker BioSciences (-22.9 percent).
 
There are 36 firms that comprise the GWDN Index. While GenomeWeb Daily News covers many more firms than are in the Index, those that have been included have a significant portion of their business focused on molecular biology and cellular research tools and are publicly traded in the US.
 
For the month of January, the GWDN Index was down 6.9 percent, which was a steeper decline than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell 4.6 percent for the month. The Nasdaq declined 9.9 percent for the month, while the Nasdaq Biotech Index dropped 3.6 percent.
 
Among the firms in the Index, Waters had the steepest decline. The firm’s shares dropped sharply the third week of January, after it reported fourth-quarter profits that fell short of analysts' expectations.
 
Waters posted net income of $98.9 million, or $.96 per share, for the quarter, which fell short of analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 per share. The firm cited a “higher than expected tax rate for 2007 and weaker sales in Japan” for the shortfall. However, its fourth-quarter revenues grew 13 percent year over year to $437 million.
 
Company officials predicted first-quarter sales growth of 14 percent and full-year 2008 sales growth of 10 percent to 12 percent.
 
Vermillion, whose shares have traded between $.48 and $1.99 for the past 52 weeks, dropped 25.9 percent in January. The firm, which has a market cap of only $38 million, has yet to release its fiscal 2007 and fourth-quarter financial results.
 
In early January, it said that it expects to three molecular diagnostic products on the market by the end of the year.
 
Shares of Bruker Biosciences fell 22.9 percent for the first month of the year. The firm has yet to release its fourth-quarter or fiscal 2007 results. Its shares had climbed sharply in December after it announced that it would buy affiliated company Bruker BioSpin for $914 million. Bruker has scheduled a special meeting of its stockholders on Feb. 25 to vote on the proposed acquisition.
 
Among the stocks that gained value during January, Compugen had the best return. In mid-January, the firm announced it would collaborate with Merck to predict and validate peptides that are likely to activate G-protein coupled receptors that Merck could use in its drug development programs.
 
Helicos Biosciences had the second-largest gain among stocks in the Index. At the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in early January, the company unveiled the first data from testing of its HeliScope next-generation sequencer. Company officials also said that the firm was on track to ship its first HeliScope soon.
 
After rising nearly 200 percent in 2007, Cepheid’s shares began the year strongly, rising 15.9 percent in January. Early in the month, the company launched a new version of its GeneXpert system. It finished the month by announcing that Canadian regulatory authorities had cleared the GeneXpert system and its molecular diagnostic test for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus for use in hospitals.
 
 
GenomeWeb Daily News Index
Company
Ticker
Current Price
(January 31, 2008)
Last
Price
(December 31, 2007)
% change
Accelrys
ACCL
6.48
7.53
-13.94
Accelr8
AXK
4.13
4.63
-10.80
Affymetrix
AFFX
20.06
23.14
-13.31
Agilent
A
33.86
36.74
-7.84
Applied Biosystems
ABI
31.46
33.92
-7.25
Beckman
BEC
66.45
72.80
-8.72
Becton Dickinson
BDX
86.44
83.58
3.42
Bio-Rad
BIO
94.79
103.62
-8.52
Bruker
BRKR
10.25
13.30
-22.93
Caliper
CALP
4.44
5.53
-19.71
Celera
CRA
15.32
15.87
-3.47
Cepheid
CPHD
30.54
26.35
15.90
Clinical Data
CLDA
20.97
22.25
-5.75
CombiMatrix
CBMX
8.08
7.58
6.60
Compugen
CGEN
2.75
1.60
71.88
DeCode Genetics
DCGN
3.44
3.68
-6.52
Genomic Health
GHCX
20.99
22.64
-7.29
Helicos Biosciences
HLCS
12.50
10.44
19.73
Illumina
ILMN
63.70
59.26
7.49
Invitrogen
IVGN
85.67
93.41
-8.29
Lumera
LMRA
2.67
2.61
2.30
Luminex
LMNX
14.97
16.24
-7.82
MDS
MDZ
16.94
19.45
-12.90
Millipore
MIL
70.15
73.18
-4.14
Nanogen
NGEN
0.41
0.36
13.89
Nanosphere
NSPH
12.02
13.99
-14.08
Orchid Cellmark
ORCH
4.97
5.00
-0.60
PerkinElmer
PKI
24.82
26.02
-4.61
Qiagen
QGEN
20.40
21.05
-3.09
Rosetta Genomics
ROSG
5.29
5.14
2.92
Sequenom
SQNM
8.29
9.55
-13.19
Sigma-Aldrich
SIAL
49.66
54.60
-9.05
Thermo
TMO
51.49
57.68
-10.73
Third Wave
TWTI
8.14
9.65
-15.65
Vermillion
VRML
0.60
0.81
-25.93
Waters
WAT
57.30
79.07
-27.53
GWDN Index Average
26.96
28.95
-6.89

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