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Declining System Sales Drag Cepheid Q1 Revenues Down 13 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid reported on Thursday afternoon that its first-quarter revenue fell 13 percent year over year, largely due to a 45 percent drop in system sales.

The firm brought in revenues of $38.8 million for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to revenues of $44.8 million in the first quarter of 2008.

System sales dropped to $7.9 million from $14.3 million year over year, while sales of reagents and disposables increased 4 percent to $28.7 million from $27.6 million.

By industry, clinical system sales decreased 32 percent to $4.8 million from $7 million, while clinical reagent sales grew 79 percent to $19 million from $10.6 million in the first quarter of 2008.

Sales to industrial customers increased 3 percent, while sales to the biothreat sector fell 37 percent and sales to partners decreased by 85 percent.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said that it installed a total of 95 GeneXpert systems and 436 modules during the quarter, bringing its total installed base to 1,042 systems. .

Cepheid CEO John Bishop said that the 79 percent increase that the company saw in clinical test sales partly offset the anticipated decline in biothreat and partner sales.

Bishop said that the company has just submitted its Clostridium difficile assay to the US Food and Drug Administration, and that it plans to release its Xpert TB/RIF test for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Europe next week.

The firm’s R&D expenses rose 5 percent to $10.3 million from $9.9 million, while SG&A spending increased 3 percent to $12.1 million from $11.7 million.

Cepheid’s net loss widened to $7.4 million, or $.13 per share, from $1.9 million, or $.03 per share, in the first quarter of 2008.

Cepheid finished the quarter with $26.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company reiterated its previous guidance for full-year 2009 of total revenue in the range of $164 million to $174 million and a net loss in the range of $0.42 to $0.47 per share.

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