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Roka Bio Reports Doubling of Q4 Revenues

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roka Bioscience reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues doubled year over year. 

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2014, the company posted $1.4 million in revenues, up from $689,000 in the year-ago quarter, and even with the consensus Wall Street estimate. Roka said in a statement that the uptick resulted from in increase in placements of its Atlas instruments and an increase in commercial use of the instruments. As of the end of 2014, the company had 38 instruments placed with customers under commercial agreements, compared to 23 at the end of 2013. 

The Atlas automated sample-in, result-out platform is Roka's flagship technology for food-borne pathogen testing. The firm also offers assays for detecting E. coli 0157:H7; Shiga toxin E. coli; Listeria; Listeria monocytogenes; and Salmonella. 

The firm had a net loss of $7.4 million, or $.43 per share, for Q4 2014, compared to a net loss of $4.5 million, or $7.51 per share, in Q4 2013. The average analysts' estimate was a loss of $.52 per share. 

Roka went public last summer and used about 17.2 million shares to calculate its loss on a per-share basis in the recently completed quarter, compared to 614,375 shares in the year-ago quarter.

Its R&D costs grew 12 percent year over year to $1.9 million from $1.7 million, while its SG&A costs moved up 7 percent to $4.9 million from $4.6 million. 

"We continue to make progress with our commercialization efforts and remain focused on increasing revenue from our current customers while continuing to expand our strategic customer base," Roka President and CEO Paul Thomas said in a statement. 

For full-year 2014, revenues shot up to $5.1 million from $2.2 million, matching the consensus Wall Street estimate. 

Roka had a net loss for the year of $32.2 million, or $2.93 per share, compared to a net loss of $29.6 million, or $56.81 per share, in 2013. It used 11 million shares to calculate its per-share loss figure for 2014, compared to 519,995 for 2013. 

Its R&D costs grew 4 percent year over year to $7.9 million from $7.6 million, and its SG&A expenses increased 9 percent to $19.1 million from $17.5 million. 

Roka exited 2014 with $7.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, $36.2 million in short-term marketable securities, and $13.4 million in long-term marketable securities. 

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