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Strong Consumables Growth Drives Luminex's Q4 Revenues up 8 Percent

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Luminex reported after the close of the market on Monday that revenues for its fourth quarter increased 8 percent, helped by a 49 percent increase in consumables-related revenues.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010 total revenues for the Austin, Texas-based molecular diagnostics and multiplex instrument firm rose to $41.2 million, compared to $38.2 million a year ago. It beat consensus Wall Street estimates of $38.1 million in revenues for the quarter.

Consumables revenues shot up to $12 million from $8 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. System-related revenues rose 11 percent to $10.3 million from $9.3 million.

In addition, royalty revenues increased to $6 million, up 26 percent from $4.8 million a year ago, though assay revenues slid 28 percent to $9.2 million from $12.9 million. All other revenues climbed 16 percent to $3.6 million from $3.1 million a year ago.

By segment, technology and strategic partnership revenues totaled $30.6 million in the fourth quarter, a 23 percent jump from $24.8 million in the year-ago period. Assays and related product revenues were down 20 percent to $10.6 million from $13.4 million.

In a conference call after the release of its earnings, Luminex President and CEO Patrick Balthrop said that during the quarter the company shipped a record 286 multiplexing analyzers, including 34 of its new MapPix systems, launched during the third quarter.

Since its launch, Luminex has shipped 75 MagPix platforms, he said, "and [we] are pleased with the early uptake ... particularly since we currently have one partner," EMD Millipore, which serves as the sole distributor for the system.

"We continue to believe MagPix will play a key role in driving growth over the coming years for Luminex," Balthrop said.

Assay revenue during the quarter was down, he said, predominantly due to a tough year-over-year comparison for H1N1 tests.

During the quarter, Luminex spending on R&D rose 22 percent to $6.7 million from $5.5 million, while SG&A spending increased 13 percent to $16.8 million from $14.9 million.

The company posted a profit of $3.2 million, or $0.07 per share, in the quarter, down sharply from a profit of $20 million, $0.48 per share, in Q4 2009. During the quarter, Luminex reported a cost of $1.9 million from income taxes, compared to a gain of $14.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. That 2009 gain was related to a valuation allowance on US deferred tax assets.

On an adjusted basis, Luminex's Q4 2010 profit was $3.2 million, or $.08 per share, versus $4.3 million, or $.11 per share, for Q4 2009, beating Wall Street estimates of $.05.

For full-year 2010, the company recorded revenues of $141.6 million, compared to $120.6 million in 2009, a 17 percent jump year over year. Analyst estimates were for $138.5 million.

System sales rose 7 percent to about $33 million during the year, consumables sales jumped 41 percent to $40.1 million, royalty revenues climbed 22 percent to $22.4 million, assay revenues inched up 4 percent to $32.2 million, and other revenues rose 14 percent to $13.9 million.

Technology and strategic partnership revenues increased 21 percent to $105.6 million for the year, while assay and related products improved 8 percent to $36 million.

Its R&D costs increased 13 percent year over year to $23.4 million in 2010, while SG&A costs increased 16 percent to $61.7 million.

Luminex's net income fell to $5.2 million, $0.12 per share, from $17.7 million, $0.43 per share, in 2009. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $0.13, compared to $0.06 in 2009, beating analyst estimates of $0.10.

As of Dec. 31, Luminex reported it had $89.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

For 2011, Luminex said that it expects revenues of between $163 million and $170 million, which would represent a 15 percent to 20 percent increase over 2010 figures.

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