NEW YORK – Twist Bioscience on Friday morning reported 17 percent year-over-year growth in its fiscal fourth quarter revenues and a 20 percent spike in its full-year revenues on the strength of its next-generation sequencing (NGS) target enrichment and synthetic bio businesses.
Twist also said that it expects this strength to carry over into next year, predicting 16 percent to 18 percent year-over-year revenue growth for fiscal year 2024.
Investors reacted favorably to the results, with shares of Twist shooting up about 24 percent in early Friday trading on the Nasdaq to $23.63.
Fiscal 2023 was a "defining year" for the company, Twist CEO and Cofounder Emily Leproust, said in a statement, adding that Twist "took decisive action to align our cost structure with our accelerated path to profitability and implemented our strategy for key products to set the stage for near and long-term success."
For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2023, the South San Francisco, California-based company reported revenues of $66.9 million compared to $57.3 million a year ago and besting the Wall Street estimate of $63.5 million.
During the quarter, the company launched its Twist Express Genes (formerly known as Fast Genes) service with a rapid turnaround time of five to seven business days as well as its Twist Full-Length Unique Dual Index Adapters for PCR-free whole genome sequencing and multiplexing at scale.
The firm also recently signed a new antibody discovery and licensing option agreement with Bayer worth up to $188 million in clinical and commercial milestone payments plus royalties.
In Q4, Twist shaved its R&D expenses 20 percent year over year to $23.7 million from $29.6 million and lowered its SG&A spending 13 percent to $47.4 million from $54.2 million a year ago. The firm also took a $3.5 million restructuring charge in the quarter compared to none a year ago.
Twist's Q4 net loss was $46.2 million, or $.81 per share, compared to $51.1 million, or $.91 per share, a year ago. On average, analysts had expected a loss per share of $.92.
For fiscal year 2023, Twist logged $245.1 million in revenues, up 20 percent from $203.6 million in 2022 and beating analysts' average estimate of $241.6 million. The company said that it grew its customer base to approximately 3,450 in 2023 from 3,300 a year ago and increased the number of genes shipped to about 634,000 from 558,000 a year ago.
Full-year R&D spending shrunk 11 percent to $106.9 million from $120.3 million in fiscal year 2022, while SG&A expenses also retreated 11 percent to $189.7 million from $212.9 million. Twist took a $16.2 million restructuring charge in fiscal year 2023 compared to none a year ago.
Twist's full-year net loss was $204.6 million, or $3.60 per share, compared to $217.9 million, or $4.04 per share in fiscal year 2022. On average, analysts had expected a full-year loss per share of $3.68.
The company finished the year with $286.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $49.9 million in short-term investments.
For fiscal year 2024, Twist said that it expects total revenue in the range of $285 million to $290 million, representing year-over-year growth of 16 percent to 18 percent. This includes expected synthetic bio revenue of $113 million to $116 million (16 percent to 18 percent year-over-year growth); NGS revenue of $147 million to $149 million (19 percent to 20 percent growth); and biopharma revenue of about $25 million (8 percent growth).
For Q1 of fiscal 2024, the company expects synthetic bio revenue of about $27 million, NGS revenue of $36 million to $37 million, and biopharma revenue of $4 million.
"Moving into fiscal 2024, we expect the momentum behind our SynBio product group will be bolstered by Express Genes with NGS revenue increasing as customers continue to advance development and commercial plans," Leproust said in a statement. "This fiscal year, we will be focused on the path to increasing gross margin over time and driving toward profitability for the business. In parallel, resulting from the work over the last six months, we are cautiously optimistic that the Biopharma Solutions trajectory has turned positive and that we are positioned to scale the business."