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NanoString Preliminary Q1 Revenues Take Hit From COVID-19, Firm Withdraws 2020 Guidance

NEW YORK – NanoString Technologies on Monday reported  preliminary first quarter revenue growth of 15 percent and withdrew previously stated full-year financial guidance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the quarter ended March 31, NanoString estimated product and service revenue of $24.5 million, slightly short of the firm's prior Q1 guidance of $25 to $28 million.

Revenue from the company's nCounter instruments was approximately $17.4 million during Q1, including about $3.3 million from instrument sales. The company had anticipated nCounter revenue of $19 million to $21 million in its prior guidance.

Sales of NanoString's newer GeoMx DSP instrument beat its quarterly projection with approximately $7.1 million in sales, compared to the company's forecast of $6 to $7 million.

"We generated more than 15 new GeoMx DSP instrument orders in the first quarter, and overall GeoMx revenue was at the upper end of our first quarter guidance," NanoString CFO Thomas Bailey said in a statement. "In contrast, nCounter revenue fell short of the bottom end of our first quarter guidance, as slowing global research activity reduced demand for consumables."

The company said it could not predict the extent or duration of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on its operating results and as a result, is withdrawing full-year guidance "until our visibility into revenue trends improves," Bailey said in a statement.

"Our team has taken significant measures to ensure the safety of our employees and our community, while serving our customers and delivering first quarter revenue growth during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," NanoString President and CEO Brad Gray added. "While our dedicated employees have enabled the essential aspects of our operations to continue, the current situation is limiting the work of researchers across all geographies and disrupting typical shipping and ordering patterns. As of today, we estimate that approximately half of our research customers have a reduced ability to receive shipments, and some have temporarily stopped accepting shipments altogether," he said.

As of March 31, 2020, NanoString had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaling approximately $270 million.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq, NanoString shares were down about 2 percent at $24.39.