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Luminex Q4 Revenues Rise 12 Percent

NEW YORK – Luminex reported after the close of the market on Monday that its fourth quarter revenues rose 12 percent year over year, slightly above its preliminary estimates announced last month.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2019, the firm said revenues rose to $90.5 million compared to $81.1 million a year ago, and short of Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $90.6 million.

Luminex said its Q4 system revenues were $20.8 million, up 103 percent year over year from $10.2 million. Consumable revenues were $11.7 million, a decrease of 25 percent year over year from $15.7 million. Luminex posted $13.6 million in royalty revenues, slightly up from $13.5 million in the prior-year quarter. Assay revenues were $36.4 million, a drop of 2 percent from $37 million in the prior-year quarter. Service revenues were $5.7 million, up 75 percent from $3.2 million year over year, and other revenues were $2.4 million, an increase of 55 percent from $1.6 million in the prior-year quarter. 

"Our successful transformation continues," Nachum Shamir, the firm's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We delivered a strong fourth quarter by growing revenues both sequentially and year over year, with a return to profitability."

He added that the company is well positioned to achieve its target of $500 million "of annual organic revenue, profitability, and strong positive cash flow in the next few years."

Luminex said that its Q4 highlights included the submission of the next-generation, fully-automated Verigene II multiplex system along with a Gastrointestinal Flex Assay to the US Food and Drug Administration. Further, the firm said it expects to submit the Verigene II Respiratory Flex Assay to the FDA in the first quarter of 2020.

The company said that its tools revenues, consisting of sales from its flow cytometry business and licensed technologies group, were 5 percent lower year over year in Q4 2019. Specifically, its flow cytometry revenues were up 2 percent to $12 million in Q4, and its licensed technologies group revenue decreased 7 percent year over year to $38.6 million in Q4. Luminex said that its consumable revenues in Q4 were impacted by the timing of purchases.

The firm's total molecular diagnostics revenues remained unchanged year over year at $38.8 million for Q4 2019. Luminex reported that its molecular sample-to-answer portfolio revenues grew 15 percent to $21 million in Q4 2019.

The company reported net income in Q4 2019 of $3.4 million, or $.07 per share, compared to a net loss of $2.3 million, or $.05 per share, in Q4 2018. The consensus Wall Street estimate was for a loss of $.01 per share.

The company's R&D spending fell 2 percent to $12.9 million from $13.2 million in the year-ago period. Its Q4 SG&A expenses dropped 3 percent to $31.1 million from $32.0 million in Q4 2018.

For full-year 2019, the company reported total revenues of $334.6 million, up 6 percent year over year from $315.8 million but slightly below analysts' average estimate of $334.7 million.

For full-year 2019, the firm's system revenues were $70.3 million, up 76 percent year over year from $40 million. Consumable revenues were $48.5 million, a decrease of 3 percent year over year from $50.1 million. Luminex posted $53.6 million in royalty revenues, up 8 percent from $49.4 million in the prior year. Assay revenues were $132 million, a decrease of 16 percent from $156.7 million in the prior year. Service revenues were $22.4 million, up 84 percent year over year from $12.2 million. Other revenues were $7.8 million, an increase of 5 percent from $7.4 million in the prior year.

The firm said that its tools revenues were up 2 percent in full-year 2019 compared to 2018. Flow cytometry revenues were up 11 percent year over year to $45.2 million in full-year 2019. Luminex's licensed technologies group revenues were unchanged year over year at $149 million in full-year 2019.

The firm said that its total molecular diagnostics revenues were 16 percent lower year over year in full-year 2019 at $136.7 million, primarily driven by the departure of certain sales to Laboratory Corporation of America that impacted full-year 2019 by $32 million. Luminex said that its MDx revenues were up 4 percent in full-year 2019 excluding the loss of LabCorp revenue. Molecular sample-to-answer portfolio revenues were up 21 percent to $75.7 million in full-year 2019 compared to 2018.

"As we move into 2020, with the launch of the Verigene II product expected midyear, we estimate that sample-to-answer revenues will be up approximately 25 percent for the year," Shamir said on a conference call to discuss the firm's financial results. "The year 2020 will be transformative for Luminex with three new product launches supporting a return to accelerated growth."

In addition to launching Verigene II and associated assays, Luminex also anticipates launching its next-generation X-map system. Previously referred to as Sensiplex, the system will be launched as xMap Intelliflex.

Further, Luminex expects to roll out the Guava Next Gen System this year to strengthen its "position as a leader in the benchtop flow cytometry space," Shamir said.

In the context of coronavirus testing, Luminex last week applied to the National Medical Products Administration, the Chinese agency for regulating drugs and medical devices, for approval and emergency use authorization of its NxTag Respiratory Pathogen Panel (RPP), Shamir said.

The NxTag RPP test, an FDA-cleared product for many years, has 20 targets of which four are associated with coronaviruses but none with the 2019-nCoV coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The product can help rule out respiratory infections not associated with the new coronavirus, Shamir said. Luminex is developing and expects to soon ship to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a multiplex test that uses the NxTag RPP chemistry and detects the novel coronavirus as well as others, Shamir said.

Luminex reported a net loss for the year of $3.8 million, or $.09 per share, compared to a profit of $18.5 million, or $.41 per share, for 2018.

The consensus Wall Street estimate was for a loss of $.30 per share for 2019.

Its R&D expenses for the year rose 19 percent to $56.2 million from $47.2 million in 2018. Its SG&A expenses rose 14 percent to $127.2 million in 2019 from $111.8 million in 2018.

Luminex ended the year with $59.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company anticipates its first quarter 2020 revenue to be between $82 million and $84 million and reaffirmed its full-year 2020 revenue guidance of between $352 million and $362 million. Prior to the release of the financial results, analysts on average were expecting Luminex to book overall revenues of $87.7 million for Q1 2020.

At the midpoint of its full-year 2020 guidance, revenues would be 7 percent higher than 2019 revenues, the firm said. Its full-year revenue guidance includes approximately a 2 percent to 3 percent headwind attributable to the departure of certain remaining sales to LabCorp.

In Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq, Luminex shares were up more than 3 percent at $24.50.

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