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Cepheid Posts 24 Percent Revenue Growth for Q1

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid reported after the close of the market Thursday that its first-quarter revenues increased 24 percent with strong sales coming from both its systems and reagents and disposables.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics firm reported total revenues of $48 million for the three-month period ended March 31 compared to $38.8 million for the first quarter of 2009. Its results beat analysts' consensus estimate for the quarter of $45.4 million.

Cepheid reported systems sales of $10.9 million compared to $7.9 million for Q1 2009, and reagent and disposable sales of $36.3 million versus $28.7 million.

Company officials said during a conference call that the firm placed 124 of its instruments during the quarter, up sharply from 95 placements during the first quarter of 2009.

In addition, its clinical product sales jumped 54 percent year over year to $36.6 million. Company officials also noted that the hospital spending environment has improved, though they remain cautious.

Cepheid posted a net loss of $4.3 million, or $.07 per share, down from $7.6 million, or $.13 per share, for the first quarter of 2009. It beat analysts' expectations of a loss per share of $.10.

Its R&D expenses for the quarter declined 6 percent to $9.7 million from $10.3 million, while its SG&A spending increased 21 percent to $14.7 million from $12.1 million.

Cepheid finished the quarter with $29.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $20.7 million in short-term investments.

The firm said that for full-year 2010 it expects to report revenues of between $195 million and $205 million, with a net loss of between $.27 and $.35 per share.

Cepheid CEO John Bishop noted that the company has nine tests on the market in the US, but the firm is "investing heavily in further expansion of our test menu … By the end of 2010, we intend to deliver additional tests to the US market, including our Xpert MRSA/SA test for pre-surgical identification of colonized patients who are at greater risk of post surgical infection."

In early Friday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Cepheid were up 9 percent at $19.94.

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