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Celera's Q4 Sales Fall 11 Percent on Lower Licensing Revenues

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Celera today reported that its fourth-quarter sales fell 11 percent as its licensing revenues declined sharply year over year.

The Alameda, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics firm, which announced separately that it will be acquired by Quest Diagnostics for $671 million, brought in total revenues of $34.9 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 25, compared to $39.2 million for Q4 2009.

The company's lab services revenue increased 5 percent to $22.2 million from $21.2 million, while its products revenues dropped 6 percent to $10.6 million from $11.3 million. Its corporate revenue plummeted 69 percent to $2.1 million from $6.7 million, which the firm said was the result of lower licensing revenue, including the completion of payments from three licensees in the first quarter of 2010.

Celera's net income for the quarter was $2.5 million, or $.03 per share, compared to a profit of $3.6 million, or $.04 per share, for Q4 2009.

Its R&D spending declined 3 percent to $6.3 million from $6.5 million, and its SG&A spending decreased 11 percent to $19.2 million from $21.6 million.

For full-year 2010, Celera had total revenues of $128.2 million, down 18 percent from $156.8 million for 2009.

Its net loss for the year was $24.6 million, or $.30 per share, versus a net loss of $25 million, or $.31 per share, for 2009.

The firm's R&D costs for the year fell to $25.3 million from $27.8 million, and its SG&A spending declined to $83.2 million from $89.2 million.

Celera also reported a charge of $10.2 million in both years for amortization of purchased intangible assets. In 2010, it reported a gain of $4.4 million for legal and insurance settlements compared to a $1.4 million charge for such items last year. In 2009, the firm reported a charge of $15.7 million for impairment of intangible assets — a charge that was not repeated in 2010.

Celera finished the year with $327 million in cash and short-term investments.

Its shares soared in early Friday trade, up 32 percent at $8.29 on the Nasdaq, due to the announcement that Quest would pay $8 per share to acquire the firm. The purchase price represents a 28 percent premium over Celera's Thursday closing price of $6.27.

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