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Celera's Q4 Revenues Increase 15 Percent; Swings to Loss

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Celera reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its fourth-quarter revenues rose 15 percent year over year, while the firm swung from a profit to a loss on increased SG&A spending.

The Alameda, Calif.-based personalized disease management products firm brought in revenues of $47.3 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 27, compared to revenue of $40.3 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Celera's Lab Services revenue, which includes sales from its Berkeley Heart Lab testing service, grew 38 percent to $29.2 million from $21.2 million year over year. Its molecular diagnostics products revenue increased 18 percent to $11.2 million from $9.5 million, while its corporate revenue from royalties, licenses, and funded collaborations dropped 28 percent to $6.9 million from $9.6 million.

BHL's revenues are driven primarily by its KIF6 testing service, which identifies a gene variant associated with risk for heart disease and statin benefit. The firm also has developed a buccal swab version of the test and has begin commercialization efforts of that test. Meanwhile, company officials have met with FDA officials to discuss clinical studies and a path to regulatory clearance for the KIF6 test in the US.

Celera posted a net loss of $6.1 million, or $.08 per share, compared to a profit of $300,000, or $.00 per share. The firm's SG&A spending jumped 34 percent to $27 million from $20.1 million, while its R&D costs decreased 28 percent to $7.6 million from $10.6 million.

Approximately $3.7 million of the SG&A increase was due to an increased allowance for bad debt at Berkeley Heart Lab, which Celera acquired for around $195 million in October 2007. In addition, Celera said that additional SG&A costs came from building out infrastructure and transition activities related to its separation from former parent Applera.

Celera provided a comparison for the six-month period ended Dec. 27, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2007, rather than a full 12-month comparison. Upon splitting from Applera on July 1, 2008, Celera changed its fiscal year to align with the calendar year, compared with its previous fiscal year that ended on June 30.

For the last six months of 2008, Celera had revenues of $93.1 million, a 65 percent increase over revenues of $56.5 million for the last six months of 2007. The firm's net loss for the last six months of 2008 was $13.1 million, or $.16 per share, compared to a profit of $1 million, $.01 per share.

Its six-month SG&A costs rose 85 percent to $52.2 million from $28.2 million, while its R&D spending fell 27 percent to $15.6 million from $21.3 million.

The results for the last six months of calendar 2007 include revenues from BHL and Atria Genetics, which Celera also acquired in October 2007 for $33 million. Their contribution began at the beginning of the fourth quarter of calendar 2007.

As of the end Dec. 27, 2008, Celera had cash and short-term investments totaling around $316 million.

The firm expects to bring in revenues of between $192 million and $202 million for fiscal-year 2009, as well as mid-single digit EPS on a non-GAAP basis for the year.

Celera also noted that it expects to record pre-tax restructuring charges of around $1.8 million over the first three quarters of 2009 related to the closure of its Rockville, Md., facility. The firm previously announced that it would close the facility by the end of Q3, resulting in a workforce reduction of approximately 20 positions.

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