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William Blair Initiates Coverage of Illumina with 'Outperform' Rating

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Investment firm William Blair said today it has initiated coverage of Illumina's stock, giving it an "outperform" rating.

It also gave San Diego-based Illumina an "aggressive growth" company profile. Amanda Murphy, an analyst at William Blair, estimated a $1.06 earnings per share price for 2010, a $1.46 EPS for 2011, and a $1.93 EPS for 2012.

In a statement, Murphy took note of the HiSeq next-generation sequencing platform introduced a year ago. The system offers the highest throughput of any next-gen sequencer, she said, adding that Illumina is "by far" the market leader in the space with a 60 percent share.

"We expect the HiSeq product cycle to fuel 30 percent earnings growth through 2012 as instrument sales translate into higher-margin consumable revenue and through margin improvements as Illumina optimizes the HiSeq platform," Murphy said.

In Friday afternoon trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Illumina were down 2 percent at $65.52.

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