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Gen-Probe's Sales Up Slightly in Q2; Shares Fall

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Gen-Probe reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its overall revenues ticked up 1 percent, while its product sales rose nearly 3 percent compared with the second quarter of 2008.

The San Diego-based molecular diagnostics firm brought in revenues of $120.5 million for the three-month period ended June 30, up from $119.8 million for the second quarter of 2008.

Gen-Probe's product sales for the period were $116.8 million versus $113.7 million for the second quarter of 2008. Its collaborative research revenue was $2.2 million versus $4.7 million the year before, and its royalty and license revenue was stable at around $1.5 million.

Gen-Probe President and CEO Carl Hull said in a statement that the firm is on track in development of the "key R&D projects that we expect to boost future growth," including tests for human papillomavirus, prostate cancer, and trichomonas.

The firm said that its clinical diagnostic products sales increased 19 percent to $67.8 million from $57.2 million, and its blood screening products sales dropped by 19 percent to $45.8 million from $56.5 million.

Gen-Probe's net income declined to $19.8 million, or $.39 per share, from $24.8 million, or $.46 per share.

Its R&D expenses fell 11 percent to $26.1 million from $29.4 million, while its SG&A spending increased 27 percent to $31.9 million from $25.1 million.

Gen-Probe finished the quarter with $233.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, and another $230.7 million in marketable securities.

Following the second-quarter results, the firm lowered the top range of its guidance for 2009. It now anticipates reporting total 2009 revenues of between $490 million and $503 million, down from a range of $490 million to $510 million, and EPS of between $1.73 and $1.85, down from $1.72 to $1.90.

Herm Rosenman, Gen-Probe's senior VP of finance and CFO, said in a statement that the company expects solid growth in clinical diagnostics this year, and he expects EPS to come in slightly lower than previously predicted due to "lower-than-expected blood screening revenues in the second quarter and slower anticipated blood screening growth going forward."

In early Friday trade on the Nasdaq, Gen-Probe's shares were down 14 percent at $36.31.

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