NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cepheid reported after the close of the market on Thursday a 16 percent year-over-year increase in its fourth quarter revenues.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm said that for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2014 it had revenues of $131.5 million, up from $113.3 million in Q4 2013. It beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $125.3 million.
While other firms that have reported their financial results so far have noted headwinds from the strengthening dollar, Cepheid CFO Andrew Miller said on a conference call following the release of the firm's financial results that Cepheid has a cash-flow hedging program, and currency effects impacted its year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter by less than .5 percent.
Revenues from system and other sales were up to $24.2 million from $22.3 million, while revenues from reagent and disposable sales increased to $107.3 million from $91.0 million, Cepheid said.
Clinical systems revenues grew to $22.1 million during the quarter from $20.2 million in Q4 2013, while clinical reagents revenues jumped to $100.1 million from $80.8 million.
Cepheid added that commercial clinical sales reached $104.8 million, and sales to High Burden Developing Countries reached $17.4 million.
Miller noted that HBDC sales in the quarter fell short of $19 million to $20 million that the firm had expected as some sales were pushed into the current year from Q4 2014.
Cepheid said that it placed 261 GeneXpert systems in its commercial clinical business and another 211 systems as part of its HBDC program.
The firm had a net loss of $23.8 million, or $.34 per share, in the quarter, compared to a net loss of $10.3 million, or $.15 per share, a year ago. EPS on a non-GAAP basis, was $.11, beating the average analysts' estimate of a net loss of $.13 per share.
Its R&D spending rose 9 percent year over year to $27.6 million from $25.3 million, while its SG&A costs were up 18 percent to $40.9 million from $34.8 million. Cepheid also recorded $20 million in legal contingencies and settlements for the recently completed quarter compared to none a year ago.
The $20 million relates to a lawsuit in which Roche alleges Cepheid infringed a US patent covering PCR-based methods for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis and drug resistance, Miller said on the conference call.
Cepheid Chairman and CEO John Bishop also provided an update on the call about the company's molecular diagnostic test for Ebola. Cepheid received $3.3 million from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the fall to develop the test.
Cepheid has developed a prototype, and earlier this month, it sent the test to biosafety laboratories and collaborators for further validation, Bishop said. Studies are underway with collaborators in the US and Canada ahead of a planned regulatory submission for the assay with the US Food and Drug Administration for an emergency-use-only product.
Cepheid also plans to submit the assay to the World Health Organization for endorsement, and the company expects to deliver 10,000 Xpert Ebola tests for field testing and potential training deployment later in the first quarter, Bishop said.
"While the worst of the 2014 Ebola epidemic seems to be behind us, this will be an important addition to the Xpert test menu, highlighting Cepheid's expanding presence and ability to support the global health community," Bishop said.
For full-year 2014, Cepheid's revenues rose to $470.1 million, up 17 percent year over year from $401.3 million in 2013, and above the consensus Wall Street estimate of $464 million.
Its revenues from system and other sales were up to $90.8 million from $76.8 million, and revenues from reagent and disposable sales increased to $379.3 million from $324.5 million.
Commercial clinical sales reached $356 million during the year and HBDC sales totaled $85.1 million, Cepheid said. It placed 773 GeneXpert systems in its commercial clinical business and another 1,743 systems as part of its HBDC program. As of Dec. 31, 2014 there were a cumulative total of 8,025 GeneXpert systems placed worldwide, the company said.
Cepheid's net loss for 2014 was $50.1 million, or $.72 per share, compared to a net loss of $18.0 million, or $.27 per share, a year ago. Non-GAAP EPS was $.19, easily beating the average analysts' estimate of a loss of $.52 per share.
Its R&D costs increased 21 percent year over year to $96.9 million from $80.2 million, while its SG&A costs were up 26 percent to $152.9 from $121.7. Legal contingencies and settlement costs were $20 million for 2014, compared to none in 2013.
Cepheid ended 2014 with $96.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and $196.7 million in short-term investments.
For the first quarter of 2015, Cepheid anticipates revenues of between $123 million and $126 million, Miller said. It also expects a loss of between $.19 and $.17 per share on a GAAP basis. On a non-GAAP basis, the company projects a loss of $.01 per share to a profit of $.01 per share.
For full-year 2015, the company said that total revenues are expected to be in the range of $538 million to $553 million. It anticipates a net loss of between $.55 and $.51 per share. On a non-GAAP basis, net income is expected to be between $.19 and $.23 per share.