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Jefferies Downgrades Sequenom to Hold Following Firm's Investor Day

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Investment bank Jefferies has lowered its rating on Sequenom to Hold from Buy following Sequenom's analyst day event this week that left the bank with "more questions than answers," Brandon Couillard, an equity analyst with Jefferies, wrote in a note.

Sequenom held its investor day about a week after its CEO and President Bill Welch resigned, and it lowered its projected 2015 full-year revenues to a range of $127 million to $131 million, from its previous estimate of $150 million to $170 million.

Couillard wrote that the investor day event "offered no new insights" into Sequenom's pipeline strategy or growth plan in an increasingly competitive noninvasive prenatal testing market. Nor did it "quell fundamental concerns following the abrupt CEO exit and dramatic 35 percent cut to its [second-half] revenue outlook."

Although Sequenom provided an update to its forthcoming liquid biopsy assay, Couillard wrote that the firm provided no data on reimbursement timelines or how it would commercialize a liquid biopsy test in the oncology field.

As a result, Jefferies also lowered its full-year 2015 revenue estimate to $128.2 million from $150 million and its FY 2016 estimate to $127 million from $168 million.

Jefferies is the second bank this week to lower its rating on Sequenom. Yesterday, William Blair downgraded Sequenom to Market Perform from Outperform.

In late Wednesday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Sequenom were unchanged at $1.67.

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