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Fluidigm Q3 Revenues Up 17 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fluidigm reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its third quarter revenues rose 17 percent year over year, thanks largely to 32 percent growth in its instruments business.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the firm reported total revenues of $29.0 million, up from $24.7 million a year ago, and beating analysts' average estimate of $27.3 million.

Revenues from instruments rose to $13.9 million from $10.5 million in the prior-year quarter, while revenues from consumables rose 3 percent to $10.4 million from $10.1 million. This put total product revenues for the third quarter at $24.2 million compared to $20.6 million in Q3 2017.

Meanwhile, service revenues rose 14 percent to $4.7 million in Q3 from $4.1 million a year earlier, and license revenues dropped to nothing from $38,000 in Q3 2017.

By market, mass cytometry revenues — comprising instruments, consumables, and service — increased 50 percent to $17.9 million from $11.9 million in the prior year period. Mass cytometry product revenues increased 48 percent to $15.2 million from $10.3 million in the prior year. Genomics revenues — comprising instruments, consumables, and service — fell 13 percent to $11.1 million from $12.8 million in the prior-year period. Genomics product revenues fell 12 percent to $9.0 million from $10.3 million in the prior year period due to lower sales of high-throughput and single-cell genomics products.

By geographical area, Fluidigm said sales in the US rose 19 percent year over year to $13.3 million, sales in Europe rose 14 percent to $8.8 million, sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 34 percent to $6.5 million, and sales in other areas declined 59 percent to $400,000.

"This quarter, we delivered robust global sales in mass cytometry for instruments and consumables with strong global placements of [the] Hyperion Imaging System, leading a new path forward for high-multiplex imaging," Fluidigm President and CEO Chris Linthwaite said in a statement. "Our technologies continue to generate pioneering multi-omic insights with the publication of the 10,000 Immunome Project, the launch of two total RNA single-cell sequencing applications for C1 and an important clinical study that used mass cytometry to characterize T cells. This progress represents the achievement of key milestones in accelerating our market expansion efforts."

On a conference call with analysts following the release of the earnings, Linthwaite said that while the company is pleased with the direction of its mass cytometry business, it has "more work to do" with its microfluidics business. The company is implementing strategies to drive adoption of its newer high-throughput genomics products. While these initiatives will take time, Linthwaite added, Fluidigm remains confident in the microfluidics business as part of its long-term multi-omic technology strategy.

The firm's strong performance in the Asia-Pacific region this quarter, Linthwaite noted, was largely due to sales in China and Japan, though the company also hit an important milestone of mass cytometry adoption in India. In Europe, customers invested in consumables and services for mass cytometry, he added.

Fluidigm's Q3 net loss narrowed to $14.8 million, or $.38 per share, from $15.9 million, or $.46 per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Fluidigm's net loss for the quarter was $.13 per share, beating the Wall Street estimate of $.38 per share.

The company's Q3 R&D expenses fell 4 percent to $7.4 million from $7.7 million in Q3 2017, and its SG&A costs dipped to $20.0 million from $20.1 million.

Fluidigm ended the quarter with $35.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

For the fourth quarter, the company is expecting total revenues of $29 million to $32 million. Analysts have estimated revenues of $29.1 million for Q4.

In a note to investors on Friday, Cowen analyst Doug Schenkel wrote that the third quarter was "a tale of two segments," with mass cytometry revenues leading the way and genomics revenues coming in weak due to low utilization and a potentially shrinking customer base. However, he added, the quarter was "largely positive."

"While it may take some time to restore consistent, material growth in the overall genomics business, we believe the strong momentum of mass cytometry should continue to outweigh this weakness and drive double-digit revenue growth for the company," Schenkel wrote. "At a discount valuation, we see how the risk/reward is improving. More balanced execution could render Fluidigm more attractive."

Fluidigm's shares rose 5 percent to $7.55 in Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq.