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Fluidigm Q3 Revenues Fall 23 Percent on Lower Instrument Sales, Misses Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fluidigm announced after the close of the market on Thursday that its third quarter revenues dropped 23 percent year over year, in line with preliminary results reported last month.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the South San Francisco, California-based genomics tools company reported $22.2 million in total revenues, compared to $28.6 million in the prior year period and short of analysts' consensus estimate of $27.8 million.

"We are very disappointed with our performance in the third quarter," Fluidigm's new CEO Chris Linthwaite, who replaced co-founder Gajus Worthington last month, said on a conference call following the release of results. "We had expected the decline in genomics instruments on a year-over-year basis to be offset by strong Helios sales. However, both Helios sales as well as genomics analytical consumables were lower than we expected." He noted that several orders were tied up and not booked until the fourth quarter.

Fluidigm's instrument revenues dropped 39 percent to $9.2 million from $15.1 million, "due to softness in sales across most platforms," the firm said in a statement. Consumables revenues fell 12 percent to $8.8 million from $10.0 million in the year-ago period, primarily due to decreased sales from genomics integrated fluidic circuits. Linthwaite said the timing of orders, competing technologies, and system dormancy all contributed to the decline.

Broken down by end market, product revenue was down 23 percent from the research market, driven by weakness in C1 sales, and down 36 percent in applied markets. Broken down by geographic region, sales were up in Asia and the Pacific (3 percent) but down in the US (8 percent), Europe (48 percent), and other markets (40 percent).

Meanwhile, on a positive note, Fluidigm's service revenues grew 19 percent year-over-year to $4.2 million from $3.5 million,  and its sales of its mass cytometry products grew 30 percent year-over-year, Linthwaite said.

To address the firm's recent troubles, Linthwaite outlined his short-term vision for the company. He said he would be reorganizing sales and marketing into a single team, organized by geographic region. The firm will also reassess its cost structure and perform a company-wide assessment to inform a new "strategic framework."

Fluidigm will focus more on supporting new products and launch new products "in a more metered manner," Linthwaite said. The firm's imaging mass cytometry system will be released on a limited basis to ensure support for the first customers, and the firm revised release dates for planned small- and medium-cell high-throughput IFC chips, which Fluidigm will now launch this December.

Fluidigm's Q3 net loss widened to $19.8 million, or $.68 per share, from $9.3 million, or $.32 per share, in Q3 2015. On an adjusted basis, its net loss was $.38 per share, bettering the consensus Wall Street estimate of a loss of $.67 per share.

The company's R&D costs fell 2 percent to $9.3 million from $9.4 million a year ago, while its SG&A expenses rose 8 percent to $21.1 million from $19.6 million, due to higher headcount.

Fluidigm finished the quarter with $71.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments.

The company suspended guidance for full-year 2016 revenues when it reported preliminary results in October and said it has not reinstated guidance, citing volatility in its business.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Fluidigm were up 13 percent at $5.05.