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Fluidigm's Q4 Revenues Grow 60 Percent Aided by DVS Sciences Buy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fluidigm said after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues increased 60 percent year over year or 21 percent on an organic basis.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the South San Francisco, Calif.-based firm reported total revenues of $33.5 million compared to $20.9 million in the year-ago period, just edging out its preannouncement of $33.4 million in revenues.

Excluding revenue attributable to the company's January 2014 acquisition of DVS Sciences, Fluidigm logged $25.2 million in revenues.

Instrument revenue at the company grew 72 percent year over year to $20.8 million driven by increased sales of its C1 single-cell sample prep system and contribution from the acquired CyTOF 2 system. On an organic basis, instrument revenue grew 17 percent.

Fluidigm's consumables revenue grew 48 percent year over year to $12.7 million driven by strength across all applications. Organic consumables growth, which excludes contributions from proteomics analytical consumables, was 28 percent in Q4.

As has been the case for the past few years, single-cell genomics was a key growth driver at the company.

In a conference call recapping the company's earnings, CEO Gajus Worthington said that Fluidigm estimates that the overall single-cell biology market across genomics and proteomics was approximately $460 million in 2014, and is expected to grow 30 percent per year to $1 billion in 2017.

"Our total installed base at the end of 2014 was 1,325 instruments," Worthington said. "Of this, over 600 systems were designated for single-cell biology research, including 275 C1s, and over 235 single-cell Biomark units."

The company's R&D spending in Q4 essentially doubled to $11.7 million from $5.8 million a year ago, while its SG&A expenses jumped 38 percent to $18.8 million from $13.6 million.

Fluidigm's net loss for the quarter was $10.9 million, or $.39 per share, compared to $4.6 million, or $.18 per share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, net loss was $.06 per share. On average, analysts had expected a net loss of $.52 per share.

For full-year 2014, Fluidigm's revenues increased 64 percent to $116.5 million from $71.2 million in 2013, on par with the consensus analysts' estimate. Organic revenue for 2014 was $95.9 million, up 35 percent.

Instrument revenue for the year grew 68 percent to $69.1 million, or 30 percent on an organic basis. Consumables revenue grew 61 percent to $46.8 million, or 44 percent on an organic basis.

In 2014 Fluidigm's R&D expenses more than doubled to $43.4 million from $20.0 million, while its SG&A expenses jumped 47 percent to $71.3 million from $48.4 million.

Net loss in 2014 was $52.8 million, or $1.90 per share, compared to $16.5 million, or $.65 per share, in 2013. On an adjusted basis, its net loss was $.23 per share.

Fluidigm finished 2014 with approximately $142.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

Business highlights for the year included the unveiling of the Callisto microfluidics system for automated cell culture; and the launch of both the single-cell whole genome and single-cell mRNA sequencing applications for the C1 system.

The company also in Q4 announced a collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute to accelerate development of new methods to analyze single-cell genomics data.

In addition, Fluidigm announced today that it would be outfitting a new Swedish National Center for Single-Cell Biology with several instrument platforms including the C1, CyTOF, and Biomark HD.

Worthington also noted during the call that the early-access program for the company's imaging mass cytometry platform closed fully subscribed at the end of Q4 and "drew very strong interest across a diverse customer base including academia, pharma, and clinical diagnostic research."

"We believe the IMC platform, which allows for ultra-high-parameter in situ tissue imaging will enable researchers to move to the next phase of single-cell biology research – that is, to incorporate the effects of the biological niche and context and preserve the spatial relationships of cells," Worthington added." Fluidigm expects to launch the IMC platform in late 2015 or early 2016.

For 2015, the company projects total revenue of between $142 million and $149 million, which incorporates an estimated negative currency-related impact of approximately 3 to 4 percent at the midpoint of the range.

Worthington also noted during the call that the company expects 2015 to be "by far the most productive year of new product launches in Fluidigm's rich history of innovation."

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