This story has been updated to include information from Twist Bioscience's fiscal Q4 and 2022 investor conference call.
NEW YORK – Twist Bioscience reported on Friday morning that revenues for its fiscal fourth quarter 2022 grew 51 percent year over year.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2022, Twist reported revenues of $57.3 million compared to $38.0 million in the year-ago period, beating analysts' average revenue estimate of $57.0 million.
"In fiscal 2022, we reported quarter after quarter of record revenue in a climate of macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty, while also laying the foundation for growth in 2023 and beyond," Twist CEO and Cofounder Emily Leproust said in a statement. "We continued the ramp up of the Factory of the Future, developed NGS applications across sequencing platforms, and entered into antibody discovery and optimization partnerships."
In a call with investors following the release of the results, Twist officials spent time addressing issues raised by a Monday report from short seller Scorpion Capital, including allegations of fraud.
Leproust walked investors through the firm's synthetic DNA manufacturing process and provided more details on its new DNA manufacturing facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, outside Portland. Scorpion's report had claimed a private investigator found the facility "basically deserted" on a visit and suggested that it was "just a story" for Wall Street analysts.
The facility has 177 employees, Leproust said, including approximately 40 who have moved from the Bay Area, and remains on track to ship products in January 2023. "Initial manufacturing in Portland will focus on genes, gene fragments, and oligo pools, targeting a turnaround time of approximately 10 days to 12 days for genes, the same as our current average turnaround time for genes," she said.
As production ramps at the facility, Leproust said the firm will offer even faster turnaround time, possibly by next fall. "We haven't given specifics around days for competitive reasons," a Twist spokesperson said in an email. "We haven't given pricing specifics other than we believe we will be able to address the DNA makers market — the people who make their own DNA because they need it faster."
In Friday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq, Twist shares were down 4 percent at $24.50. Shares of the firm have fallen 35 percent this week following the short report.
On Tuesday, Twist issued a statement, calling the report "highly misleading." During the Q&A portion of the call, Leproust said that the firm would not be commenting further on Scorpion's allegations.
In Q4, NGS revenues were $29.2 million, up 36 percent year over year; synbio revenues were $21.6 million; and biopharma revenues were about $9.4 million.
The company's net loss in fiscal Q4 2022 was $51.1 million, or $.91 per share, compared to a net loss of $41.2 million, or $.84 per share, in fiscal Q4 2021. Analysts had estimated a net loss per share of $1.25.
Twist's R&D expenses in Q4 were $29.6 million, up 53 percent from $19.4 million a year ago. SG&A expenses were $54.2 million, up 42 percent from $38.2 million a year ago.
Revenues for fiscal year 2022 were $203.6 million, up 54 percent from $132.3 million the previous year, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $202.6 million.
Full-year NGS revenues were $99.3 million, up 37 percent year over year. Synbio revenues were $80 million, up 52 percent year over year, driven by genes revenue of $61.5 million and oligo pools revenue of $12.4 million, up more than 50 percent on demand from healthcare customers. Biopharma revenues were about $24.2 million.
In a departure from previous investor calls, Twist did not break down its revenues by end market.
Twist said it shipped approximately 558,000 genes in fiscal year 2022 compared to approximately 372,000 genes in fiscal 2021, to a total of 2,300 synbio customers.
By region, US revenues were $122.5 million, up from $77.9 million in the prior year; Europe, Middle East, and Africa revenues were $62.1 million, up from $44.1 million; and Asia Pacific revenues were $19 million, nearly double $10.3 million last year.
Its net loss for the year was $217.9 million, or $4.04 per share, compared to a loss of $152.1 million, or $3.15 per share, in fiscal year 2021, beating analysts' average estimate of a loss of $4.49 per share.
Twist's fiscal year 2022 R&D expenses were $120.3 million, up 74 percent from $69.1 million a year ago. Core R&D spending was $56 million compared to $37 million in fiscal 2021, while antibody R&D spending was $25 million, up from $15 million in the prior year. DNA-based data storage spending was $25 million, up from $15 million.
Full-year SG&A expenses were $212.9 million, up 57 percent from $135.9 million in fiscal 2021.
As of Sept. 30, the company had $378.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and $126.3 million in short-term investments.
Leproust noted that Twist plans to launch its first DNA-based data storage solution as an early-access offering in late 2023. "In NGS, we expect to gain market share and expand in areas that require deep sequencing such as [minimal residual disease testing] and liquid biopsy. In addition, we're integrating Twist Boston with our biopharma offerings to provide customers with a portfolio of services across discovery methods," she said.
For fiscal year 2023, Twist expects total revenues in the range of $261 million to $269 million. Synbio revenue is estimated to be in the range of $104 million to $106 million, NGS revenue in the range of $120 million to $123 million, and biopharma revenue in the range of $37 million to $40 million. It expects a net loss of approximately $260 million.
On the call, CFO Jim Thorburn said foreign exchange rates could impact Twist's business by up to 10 percent.
For fiscal Q1 2023, Twist guided to revenues of approximately $54 million, including synbio revenue of approximately $21 million, NGS revenue of $25 million, and antibody discovery revenue of $8 million.
Twist also provided fiscal year 2024 revenue guidance of approximately $350 million.