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Sequenom's Q1 Revenues Fall 18 Percent, Net Loss Doubles

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its first-quarter revenues declined 18 percent year over year, while its net loss more than doubled on higher expenses.

The San Diego-based molecular diagnostics firm generated revenues of $8.7 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to revenues of $10.6 million for the comparable period of 2008. Its consumables revenue was roughly flat at $4.7 million, while its systems-related revenue dropped to $3.1 million from $4.5 million. Its services revenue fell to $837,000 from $1.4 million.

Paul Hawran, CFO of Sequenom, said that the firm's revenues were softer than expected due primarily to budget cuts by customers.

Sequenom's net loss jumped to $17.5 million, or $.29 per share, from $8.6 million, or $.19 per share.

Its R&D costs rose 80 percent to $8.8 million from $4.9 million, while its SG&A spending increased 55 percent to $14.3 million from $9.2 million.

The firm finished the quarter with $81.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities.

Sequenom said that it anticipates 2009 revenues of between $32 million and $35 million for its genetic analysis business, but it is not providing a revenue estimate for its molecular diagnostics business. It also expects a 2009 loss of between $62 million and $67 million.

Hawran said that the firm expects to finish 2009 with cash in excess of $50 million.

In a separate announcement on Wednesday, Sequenom said that it would delay the launch of its SEQureDx Down syndrome test until the third quarter of this year after it discovered that company employees had mishandled R&D test data and results.

The firm also announced last week that it would lay off 30 employees — around 12 percent of its staff — in an effort to reduce costs. The layoffs are expected to save $8 million in 2009, with an annualized reduction in costs of $10 million.

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