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Affymetrix Reports Record Q3 Instrument Revenues of $18M; Income for Quarter Rises

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Affymetrix increased its installed base of GeneChip systems en route to recording total revenues of $76.2 million and a net income of $5.8 million for the third quarter of 2003, the company reported last week.

The company said it posted record instrument revenues of $18.1 million, compared to $12.7 million a year ago, in a quarter where the pre-manufactured microarray market leader launched its first catalogue offering of a whole-human-genome-on-a-single-microarray product, dramatically decreased the format at which it fabricates its arrays, and rolled out industrial and system automation products.

The boost in instrument sales follows the introduction of an 11-micron microarray manufacturing process, which creates GeneChip products that will only be readable on the company’s new GeneChip 3000 scanner, which was introduced earlier in the year.

The customers buying equipment upgrades are early adopters of technology, and larger laboratories, Greg Schiffman, Affymetrix’s chief financial officer, said in the company’s conference call.

“We think we will see a majority [of customers] upgrade over the next three years,” he said.

With an installed base of 900 GeneChip systems at the end of the third quarter, Affymetrix reported sales of 44 new GeneChip systems, 45 upgraded scanners (at suggested prices of $120,000 each, the company said in a conference call), 45 of its new autoloaders (at $22,000 each), and 185 fluidics stations (at $45,000 each).

In addition to instrument sales, the company also saw a slight increase in sales of its GeneChips, recording $34.3 million in revenue, compared to $34.1 million for the third quarter of 2002, up by 16.1 percent over the second quarter.

Affymetrix spent $16.5 million for R&D in the quarter, compared to $16.7 million for the third quarter of 2002.

The company said it expects to record product and product-related revenue of approximately $280 million and total revenue of approximately $300 million for the fiscal year 2003.

For the quarter, the company reported cash and cash equivalents of $50.4 million, compared to $68 million for the year-ago quarter. Additionally, the company had available-for-sale securities of $280 million, compared to $294 million for the year-ago period.

Beckman to Distribute Affy Autoloader Platform

Separately, Beckman Coulter said Tuesday it would distribute an automated gene expression platform developed by Array Automation, a joint venture of Affymetrix and Beckman established in July.

The Gene Expression Automation System automates sample prep and other processes for Affy's GeneChip format and can be expanded to automate Affy's new 96-well High Throughput Array.

— MOK

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