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Sequenom's Q4 Revenues Rise 9 Percent as Loss Nearly Doubles

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its fourth-quarter revenues rose 9 percent and its net loss nearly doubled on higher spending.

The San Diego-based molecular diagnostics and research products firm generated revenues of $12.2 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to revenues of $11.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2007. Its consumables revenue grew to $5 million from $4.6 million year over year, while other product-related revenue increased to $5.8 million from $5.5 million, and service revenue increased to $1.4 million from $924,000 in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Sequenom posted a net loss of $15.4 million, or $.25 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.9 million, or $.18 per share, for Q4 2007.

The company's R&D expenses more than doubled to $9.1 million from $4.5 million year over year, while its SG&A spending increased 35 percent to $12.3 million from $9.1 million.

For full-year 2008, Sequenom had revenues of $47.1 million versus $41 million in 2007, a 15 percent increase. The firm's consumables revenue grew to $19.5 million from $16.5 million, while its other product-related revenue increased to $22.7 million from $20.8 million, and its services revenue rose to $4.8 million from $3.5 million.

Its net loss for the year was $44.2 million, or $.83 per share, more than double its net loss of $22 million, or $.57 per share, for 2007.

The firm's 2008 R&D expenses were $27.5 million versus $14.4 million for 2007, and its SG&A spending rose to $42.7 million from $31.1 million.

Sequenom finished the year with $99.7 million in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities.

Sequenom President and CEO Harry Stylli said during the firm's conference call late Wednesday afternoon that the firm is on track to launch both the RNA and DNA versions of its SEQure Dx Down Syndrome test in June as a laboratory developed test, which will be available through Sequenom's CLIA lab. The firm has been pursuing development of both tests in parallel.

CFO Paul Hawran noted during the call that the firm expects its revenues for the genetic analysis business to be flat for the first half of 2009, but the firm expects second-half revenues for that legacy business to increase around 15 percent, with total revenue for 2009 coming in between $49 million and $53 million.

"We expect our genetic analysis tools business to be impacted by the general decline in capital equipment market," Hawran said.

The firm will likely provide guidance for its molecular diagnostics business later this year. Investment bank Leerink Swann has estimated Sequenom will bring in molecular diagnostics revenues of around $4.9 million in 2009 and $63.8 million in 2010.

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