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Sequenom Posts 13 Percent Rise in Q4 Revenues, Reports Profitability for FY 2014

This story has been updated from a previous version to include comments from Sequenom's earnings call.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Consistent with its preannouncement in January, Sequenom reported after the close of the market today that its fourth quarter revenues increased 13 percent year over year.

It reported revenues of $36.8 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $32.7 million in Q4 2013, but falling short of analysts' average estimate of $41.9 million.

The company accessioned 50,900 patient samples in Q4 2014, a roughly 11 percent increase from the prior-year fourth quarter. Approximately 43,500 of those samples were for Sequenom's MaterniT21 Plus test, an 18 percent increase over Q4 2013. Average reimbursement per test was $1,000, down from an average of $1,200 per test in 2013. However, the company is now being reimbursed by 15 state-run Medicaid plans, which typically pay at a lower rate, CFO Carolyn Beaver said during a conference call discussing the firm's Q4 and full-year performance. Sequenom had 162 million lives under covered contract at the end of 2014, up from 113 million at the end of 2013.

Sequenom reported Q4 net earnings of $18.3 million, or $.14 per share, compared to a net loss of $18.9 million, or $.16 per share, for Q4 2013. In Q4 Sequenom recognized a $22.9 million gain related to the pooled patents agreement and settlement agreement with Illumina.

The firm reported Q4 R&D expenses of $5.1 million, down from $7.6 million in Q4 2013. Its SG&A expenses were $17.2 million, down from $21.9 million in Q4 2013.

For full-year 2014, Sequenom brought in revenues of $151.6 million revenue, a 27 percent increase from $119.6 million in 2013, but it missed the Wall Street estimate of $158.1 million.

The firm also reached its goal of being profitable in 2014. It reported net income for the year of $1.0 million, or $.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $107.4 million for 2013, or $0.93 per share.

"2014 was a pivotal year for Sequenom," CEO Bill Welch said in a statement. "In addition to growing the business and improving profitability, we completed multiple strategic transactions including the divestiture of the Sequenom Bioscience business unit, the buyout of the patent rights from Isis Innovation, as well as the settlement and pooled patents agreements with Illumina."

For the full year, Sequenom's SG&A expenses fell to $77.7 million from $90.1 million in 2013, while its R&D expenses fell to $25.0 million from $38.7 million.

In 2015, Welch said that the company predicts total revenues to be between $150 million and $170 million, including between $6 million and $14 million in test fees and royalties from the patent pool it established with Illumina.

Sequenom also said today that it has hired Daniel Grosu as senior vice president and chief medical officer. Grosu was most recently vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at Illumina and previously served as Illumina's chief medical officer.

As of Dec. 31, 2014, Sequenom had total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $93.9 million, which includes $44.0 million in cash received from Illumina during the fourth quarter.