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Personalis Q4 Revenues Bump up 3 Percent

NEW YORK – Personalis reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues were up 3 percent year over year, driven by growth in its pharmaceutical services business and other customers not related to a project associated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2021, the cancer genomics tools company reported revenues of $20.7 million, up from $20.2 million in the same quarter in 2020 and inching out the average Wall Street estimate of $20.5 million.

Revenue from the firm's population sequencing for the VA's Million Veterans Program was down 58 percent quarter over quarter to $5.3 from $12.6 million in Q4 2020. But this was offset by revenues from biopharmaceutical and other customers, which more than doubled to $15.4 million from $7.6 million a year ago. Excluding the $5.8 million from Natera for the firms' MRD collaboration, non-VA revenues in the quarter totaled $9.6 million, a 26 percent increase from Q4 2020.

The company's Q4 net loss rose to $20.2 million, or $.45 per share, from $13.3 million, or $.34 per share, a year earlier, beating analysts' average expectation for a loss of $.50 per share. The company calculated Q4 net loss using 44.8 million weighted-average shares compared to about 39 million a year ago.

Personalis' Q4 R&D costs jumped more than 70 percent to $14.5 million from $8.5 million in Q4 2020, while its SG&A expenses rose about 26 percent to $13.7 million from $10.9 million.

Discussing the firm's financial results on a call with investors, Personalis CFO Aaron Tachibana said that the company's boost in oncology revenue was driven by strong adoption of the comprehensive NeXT platform, which accounted for approximately 85 percent of oncology revenue in the quarter.

Regarding biopharma revenues, CEO John West said that Personalis is "doing business with most of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies" and that more than 60 customers have now ordered NeXT platform services.

West added that the company continues to see customer orders outpacing both quarterly and yearly revenue, which makes the firm confident it will see its oncology revenues grow more than 50 percent in 2022.

The company is expecting its revenue growth to "further accelerate" as it ramps up its MRD liquid biopsy offering, NeXT Personal. This could include the potential for surveillance or multiple-timepoint testing in minimal residual disease and early-cancer treatment applications.

West said Personalis recently made a deal with its first customer order for the test from a "large global pharmaceutical company."

"We expect NeXT Personal to be an important growth driver for both biopharma and diagnostic test revenue," he added.

For full-year 2021, the company's revenues rose 9 percent to $85.5 from $78.6 million. Analysts had expected revenues of $85.4 million for the year.

Full-year VA MVP revenues dropped 19 percent to $45.7 million from $56.2 million in 2020, while biopharmaceutical and other revenues rose 77 percent to $39.8 million from $22.5 million.

Personalis' net loss for 2021 rose to $65.2, or $1.49 per share, from $41.3 million, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier. Loss per share for 2021 was calculated using about 43.9 million weighted-average shares versus about 34.4 million in 2020. Wall Street analysts had predicted, on average, a $1.53 per-share loss.

The firm's full-year R&D costs jumped 72 percent to $49.3 million from $28.6 million in 2020, while its SG&A expenses were up 42 percent at $47.7 million compared to $33.7 million.

The company ended the year with $105.6 million in cash and cash equivalents and $181.5 million in short-term investments.

Outlining its 2022 guidance, Personalis said it expects total revenues of approximately $67 million for the year, with $60 million coming from non-VA customers, a 51 percent increase over 2021. The firm projects a net loss for the coming year in the range of $110 million to $115 million.