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Luminex Q1 Revenues Up 6 Percent on Strong Sample-to-Answer Product Sales

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Luminex reported after the close of the market on Monday that its first quarter revenues rose 6 percent year over year, driven in part by growth in its sample-to-answer molecular product sales.

For the three months ended March 31, the firm reported revenues of $82.7 million, up from $77.8 million a year ago, and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $80.5 million.

Systems revenues were $7.9 million, down 7 percent from $8.5 million a year ago. Consumables revenues were $11.9 million, down 23 percent from $15.4 million in Q1 2017. Royalties revenues were $12.2 million, up 5 percent from $11.6 million in the year-ago quarter, and assays revenues were $45.8 million, up 23 percent from $37.4 million. Service revenues were flat at $2.9 million year over year, and all other revenues were $1.9 million, down 5 percent from $2.0 million in Q1 2017.

The firm said that it placed 60 sample-to-answer molecular systems under contract during the first quarter of 2018, compared to 34 in the first quarter of 2017, and the total number of active sample-to-answer customers is just short of 500.

The firm noted that it also saw year-over-year growth in its sample-to-answer utilization per customer to $105,000 from $90,000 for its Verigene products, and $51,000 from $33,000 for its Aries products.

In Q1, the firm shipped 218 multiplexing analyzers, which do not include Aries and Verigene system placements, compared to 242 multiplexing analyzers in the prior-year quarter.

Luminex has started the year "with strong performance in our molecular diagnostics franchise [and] more specifically our sample-to-answer portfolio, which grew by nearly 50 percent," Homi Shamir, president and CEO of Luminex, said in a statement.

Shamir said on a conference call to discuss the firm's financial results that later this month, the firm expects to begin clinical trials for its Verigene 2 system, a high-plex instrument that can run complex assays of more than 50 pathogens in less than two hours. The firm expects to launch the system with an optional Verigene 2 Plus component that offers quantitative capabilities and faster turnaround of around 30 minutes.

He said that the company anticipates applying for clearance of the instrument to the US Food and Drug Administration in early 2019, or before, and that the firm has lined up 10 sites to participate in that initial trial. Following that, the firm expects to enter a clinical trial with Verigene 2 using a respiratory panel, he said, adding that the company expects to launch the two panels around the same time to generate maximum market impact.

Further, the firm intends to commercialize a next-generation xMAP platform and launch it in the second half of 2019, Shamir said.

Shamir noted that in Q1, sales of its respiratory product exceeded its expectations because of heavy demand in a severe flu season.

The company reported net income rose to $13.4 million, or $.30 per share, from $9.2 million, or $.21 per share a year earlier, exceeding the analysts' average estimate of $.20 per share.

The firm’s Q1 R&D costs dropped 20 percent to $10.3 million from $12.4 million in Q1 2017, and its SG&A costs rose 7 percent to $25.8 million from $24.0 million.

Luminex ended the quarter with $128.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The firm anticipates second quarter 2018 revenue to be between $78.5 million and $80 million and reaffirmed its full-year 2018 revenue guidance of between $310 million and $316 million. Analysts, on average, expect revenues of $80 million in the second quarter and $313 million for the year.

William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein said in a research note on Tuesday that Luminex "continues to benefit from missteps by competitors, which is allowing placements to remain strong."

In early morning trading on the Nasdaq, Luminex shares were up more than 9 percent at $24.27.