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Sequenom's Q3 Revenues Decline 21 Percent

This article has been modified to add information from Sequenom's conference call.

NEW YORK (GenomeWEb) – Sequenom reported after the close of the market today that its third quarter 2015 revenues were down 21 percent compared to the third quarter of 2014.

The San Diego, California-based molecular diagnostics company had third quarter revenues totaling $29.9 million compared to $37.9 million in the third quarter 2014. It missed the Wall Street estimate of $31.4 million.

Sequenom had previously announced it anticipated lower-than-expected revenues in the quarter, which subsequently led investment banks William Blair and Jefferies to downgrade the company’s stock.

Sequenom's diagnostic services revenues were $27.7 million in Q3 2015 compared to $37.4 million in Q3 2014, while its license fees totaled $2.2 million, up from $561,000 in the previous year's third quarter.

The firm attributed its drop in revenues to accessioning fewer tests, partly due to its patent pool agreement with Illumina for noninvasive prenatal testing, as well as to collecting less revenue from tests it ran in previous quarters.

Total patient samples accessioned decreased 12 percent to 41,000 in Q3 2015 from 46,600 samples year over year. Approximately 35,500 of those tests were noninvasive prenatal tests, an 8 percent year-over-year decline, CEO Dirk van den Boom said during a conference call discussing the company's third quarter results. While the majority of the decline was attributed to one international lab converting from ordering testing services to developing its own test based on patents licensed, approximately 3 percent of the decline could be attributed to competition, van den Boom said.

Van den Boom said during the call that Sequenom is "engaged in a company-wide initiative to improve core aspects of our commercial strategy," and is aiming to develop a business model that will better suit the "environment of heightened competition." Specifically, he said, the firm is reviewing its product make-up and its approach to the average-risk pregnancy market, as well as looking at ways to reduce its costs. He said that its measures, which he would provide updates on in coming quarters, would result in cost savings of $10 million per year.

Sequenom reported a net loss of $9.4 million, or $.08 per share, compared to $6.1 million, or $.05 per share, in the previous year's third quarter. It beat analysts' average estimate of a loss of $.09 per share.

Sequenom's R&D expenses in the quarter were $5.9 million, down from $6.1 million in Q3 2014, while it is SG&A expenses were $17.0 million compared to $16.9 million in Q3 a year ago.

The firm finished the quarter with $80.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

In early Thursday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Sequenom were up around 1 percent at $1.76.