Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Companies in GWDN Index Rise and Fall on Q1 Earnings Reports in May

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The GenomeWeb Index rose nearly 4 percent in May as companies' fortunes largely depended on the strengths or weaknesses of their first quarter earnings reports.

The Index significantly outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained less than a tenth of a percent during the month, but was roughly in line with the Nasdaq, which gained nearly 4 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which finished the month a little more than 4 percent higher.

May's performance reversed the 1 percent loss the Index saw in April, with only a third of the stocks seeing losses during the month, and only two stocks with double-digit percent declines.

Natera led the winners in May with a 40 percent gain in stock price. The firm reported a 31 percent increase in Q1, beating analysts' estimates. Natera also said the number of tests accessioned during the quarter rose 64 percent, and that its net loss for the quarter narrowed significantly. On a call after the release of the results, company executives told analysts that Natera's focus on penetrating the average-risk pregnancy market with its noninvasive prenatal test was paying off.

GenMark Diagnostics was the second best performer in May with a 27 percent jump. The company reported its Q1 revenues rose 9 percent, also beating analysts' estimates. The firm further told analysts that it was able to identify the root cause of manufacturing variability for its ePlex molecular testing system, and has resumed manufacturing and testing of the ePlex Respiratory Pathogen panel.

Foundation Medicine rounded out the top three gainers in May, with an 18 percent rise in share price. The company had no dearth of good news during the month, reporting a 57 percent increase in Q1 revenues and commercially launching its long-anticipated liquid biopsy assay for clinical use. The firm also signed an expanded partnership with AstraZeneca to develop companion diagnostics and acquired a laboratory in North Carolina that was formerly owned by Sequenom.

The two biggest decliners of the month — Sequenom and NanoString Technologies — were also largely affected by their Q1 earnings reports.

Sequenom fell 20 percent in May after reporting a 27 percent drop in Q1 revenues and missing analysts' estimates for both revenues and loss per share. The company blamed the year-over-year decline on a number of customers converting from purchasing noninvasive prenatal tests that Sequenom ran itself, to licensing the rights to develop their own tests through a patent pool agreement that Sequenom and Illumina established at the end of 2014.

In contrast, NanoString's Q1 revenues rose 27 percent. But the company missed analysts' estimates, which CEO Brad Gray said was due to several deals taking longer than anticipated to close and a lack of productivity from the company's sales team. NanoString ended the month 15 percent lower in the Index.