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GWDN Stocks Mixed in July; Affy Soars, Myriad Sags

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average returning its best month — rising 8.6 percent for the month of July — in 20 years, the stocks that comprise the GenomeWeb Daily News Index produced mixed results for the month.

Overall, the GWDN Index gained 1 percent for July, but several firms returned significant gains and losses for the month, partly due to investors' reactions to second-quarter financial results. Two of the biggest gainers, though — Sequenom and Nanosphere — have yet to report.

Leading the Index for July was Affymetrix, whose shares rose 49 percent. Less that two weeks ago, the firm reported net earnings and revenues that surpassed analysts' expectations for the quarter. Analysts raised their targets on Affy's stock following the results, and the firm's shares soared nearly 40 percent.

Affy's shares closed July at $8.84, a level not seen since September 2008.

Meanwhile, Sequenom's shares increased 47 percent, rising steadily throughout the month and picking up steam over the second half of July. There was extremely high volume in trading of its shares on July 21, 23, and 27, even though the only announcement from Sequenom was on July 27 regarding the launch of its MassArray Compact 96 system for lower throughput labs. Sequenom is scheduled to release its second-quarter results on Aug. 6.

Nanosphere also had a strong month, gaining 44 percent. Its shares rose sharply over the last week of the month despite a lack of news. However, in early Monday afternoon trade, Nanosphere was down 9 percent at $6.40 on the Nasdaq.

The two biggest decliners for the month — Myriad Genetics (-23 percent) and Celera (-21 percent) — were due to preliminary financial reports from the firms.

Myriad closed June by announcing that its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 molecular diagnostic revenues will be lower than previously expected. The firm cited "the current economic recession, which is driving increasing unemployment levels resulting in the loss of insurance coverage and patients delaying or canceling doctor visits." It will release its results on Aug. 25.

Celera also released preliminary financial results ahead of the release of its full financial report on Aug. 6. The firm said that its Q2 revenues will be down between 2 percent and 7 percent from its Q2 2008 revenues. In light of the results, the company announced an immediate restructuring program.

In comparison to the DJIA and the GWDN Index, the Nasdaq closed July up 7.8 percent, while the Nasdaq Biotech Index rose 8.2 percent.

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