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Genomic Tools Stocks Tumble for Second Month in a Row

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The stocks of many genomic tools and molecular diagnostics vendors took a hard hit for the second month in a row as the broader stock market continued its slide in August.

The GenomeWeb Daily News Index tumbled 8 percent for the month of August, following a drop of nearly 9 percent in July. While the broader stock market also has slumped in recent months, biotech firms in particular have been hit hard.

In August several of the firms tracked by GWDN saw their stock price decline more than 20 percent.

The hardest hit was single-molecule sequencing technologies firm Pacific Biosciences, which had a 36 percent decline in its stock price. Early in the month PacBio reported better-than-expected second-quarter financials but also reported backlog orders that were lighter than expected by analysts. Its shares dropped 34 percent as a result and have not recovered since.

Other vendors which saw sharp declines for the month included Nanosphere (-31 percent), Vermillion (-30 percent), Complete Genomics (-27 percent), CombiMatrix (-22 percent), and Fluidigm (-20 percent).

Among those decliners, Vermillion's shares dropped following the release of its Q2 results early in August. The firm posted a 9 percent drop in year-over-year revenues.

Complete Genomics' shares fell after the firm reported a sharp rise in revenues, but it failed to meet Wall Street estimates. Clifford Reid, chairman, president and CEO of Complete Genomics, reminded investors that the firm "continue[s] to expect variability in our quarterly shipments as a result of the timing of receipt of DNA samples from our customers."

Of the 33 stocks that comprise the GWDN Index only four saw gains in their stock prices for August. The top stock was GenMark Diagnostics, which jumped 26 percent as it closed out the month with a strong final week. Earlier in August it reported a 35 percent increase in Q2 revenues.

The other winners for the month were Rosetta Genomics (+18 percent), Pressure BioSciences (+17 percent), and Luminex (+13 percent).

The 8 percent decline for the GWDN Index compared to a slightly more than 4 percent slide for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a 6 percent drop for the Nasdaq, and a 7 percent fall for the Nasdaq Biotech Index.

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