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Gen-Probe Posts 27 Percent Q4 Revenue Increase

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Gen-Probe reported after the close of the market Thursday that its fourth-quarter revenues increased 27 percent year over year.

The San Diego-based molecular diagnostics firm brought in total revenues of $138.9 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to $109.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.

The firm's clinical diagnostics products brought in revenues of $77.6 million, up from $57.7 million. Gen-Probe said that its clinical diagnostics sales were driven by its transplant and influenza diagnostic products, as well as its Aptima Combo 2 assay for detecting Chlamydia and gonorrhea.

The firm's blood screening products had sales of $53.4 million versus $48.1 million for Q4 2008. Its research products and services business had revenues of $4.4 million compared to no revenues for the comparable period of 2008.

Gen-Probe's net income for the quarter was $24 million, or $.48 per share, up from $21.1 million, or $.39 per share, for Q4 2008.

Its R&D spending increased 13 percent to $27.4 million from $24.2 million, and its SG&A spending rose 18 percent to $30.2 million from $25.6 million.

For full-year 2009, Gen-Probe had revenues of $498.3 million, up around 5 percent from $472.7 million.

Sales for its clinical diagnostic products were $274.2 million compared to $222.9 million for 2008, while sales for its blood screening products were down to $197.5 million from $206.3 million, and sales for its research products and services were $12 million versus no such revenues in 2008. Revenues from collaborative research dropped to $7.9 million from $20.6 million, and revenues from royalties and licenses fell to $6.6 million from $22.9 million year over year.

Gen-Probe's net income for the year was $91.8 million, or $1.79 per share, down from $107 million, or $1.95 per share, for 2008.

The firm's R&D spending increased to $106 million from $101.1 million, while its SG&A expenses jumped to $115.7 million from $98.2 million.

Gen-Probe finished the year with cash and cash equivalents of $82.6 million and marketable securities of $403 million.

The firm has provided revenue guidance of between $540 million and $565 million for full-year 2010, along with EPS of between $2.10 and $2.25.

Gen-Probe announced separately that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of the firm's common stock over the next year.

"Based on our healthy balance sheet and strong anticipated cash flows, we believe we can increase long-term shareholder value and offset dilution from employee option programs by buying back stock, while at the same time retaining the strategic and operational flexibility to invest appropriately in our business," Herm Rosenman, Gen-Probe's SVP of finance and CFO, said in a statement.

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