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Illumina Q4 Revenues Flat, 2020 Revenues Down 9 Percent

NEW YORK – lllumina reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth quarter 2020 revenues were flat, echoing its forecast at the virtual JP Morgan Healthcare conference in January.

For the three months ended Jan. 3, 2021, Illumina reported total revenues of $953 million, the same as a year ago and above analysts' average estimate of $903.9 million.

Total sequencing revenues were $846 million, up 1 percent from $837 million in Q4 2019. Sequencing consumables grew 5 percent year over year and sequencing instrument revenues were flat year over year. Sequencing service and other revenues were down 15 percent year over year due to in vitro diagnostic partnership revenue being recognized last year. Clinical consumables revenues grew 20 percent year over year.

Revenues from Illumina's microarray business fell 8 percent from $116 million a year ago.

"lllumina delivered a strong finish to 2020 with record fourth quarter revenue exceeding our expectations," Illumina CEO Francis deSouza said in a statement. "We also had record orders in the quarter, including record sequencing instrument orders and the second highest quarter for NovaSeq instrument orders. Our business delivered strong sequential growth in the second half of 2020 and we expect continued recovery from the pandemic in 2021."

On a conference call following the release of the results, he noted that research sequencing run rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels while clinical sequencing run rates have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

Revenue from the Americas fell 2 percent year over year, driven by one-time technology access fees for an IVD partnership and lower direct-to-consumer testing revenue, partially offset by growth in sequencing consumables. Revenue from Europe, Middle East, and Africa was $285 million, up 2 percent year over year, driven by strong instrument revenues from NovaSeq. Greater China revenues grew 3 percent year over year to $96 million, driven by demand from hospitals. Asia-Pacific and Japan revenues were $77 million, up 5 percent year over year.

Net income for the quarter was $257 million, or $1.75 per share, compared to $239 million, or $1.61 per share, in Q4 2019. Adjusted net income was $1.22 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.11 per share.

Illumina's Q4 R&D expenses were $200 million, up 24 percent from $161 million a year ago. The firm's SG&A expenses increased 28 percent to $298 million from $233 million a year ago.

Illumina repurchased $280 million in common stock in Q4.

Full-year 2020 revenues fell 9 percent to $3.24 billion from $3.54 billion in 2019, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $3.19 billion.

Sequencing consumables revenue was $2 billion, down 2 percent from $2.1 billion in 2019. Clinical consumables revenues were $890 million, up 8 percent year over year, while research and applied sequencing consumables revenues were $1.2 billion, down 6 percent year over year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illumina shipped more than 2,000 instruments and added 700 new customers in 2020, deSouza said.

Net income for the year was $656 million, or $4.45 per share, compared to net income of $1 billion, or $6.74 per share, in 2019. Adjusted EPS for 2020 was $4.50 per share, beating the Wall Street estimate of $4.39 per share.

Illumina's 2020 R&D expenses totaled 682 million, a 5 percent increase from $647 million in 2019. Total 2020 SG&A expenses rose 13 percent to $941 million from $835 million in 2019.

Illumina reiterated its previous full-year 2021 revenue guidance of 17 percent to 20 percent growth year over year. At the virtual JP Morgan Healthcare conference, deSouza had said Illumina expects 2021 total revenues in the range of $3.79 billion to $3.88 billion and adjusted EPS between $5.10 and $5.35. "This guidance excludes the potential impact from the pending acquisition of Grail, which we expect to close in the second half of 2021," Illumina said.

Illumina CFO Sam Samad added during the call that the firm is raising its Q1 2021 revenue guidance to reflect "high single-digit revenue growth compared to the first quarter of 2020."

As of Jan. 3, 2021, Illumina held $1.81 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $1.66 billion in short-term investments.

In Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Illumina were up 11 percent at $501.88.

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