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Bank Ups Affymetrix Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners has increased its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 revenue guidance for Affymetrix, two weeks before the firm is scheduled to report its results.

Analyst Peter Lawson said that the bank has increased its Q4 estimate to $83 million from its previous estimate of $82 million, slightly above analysts' consensus estimate of $82.8 million. It also lowered the firm's loss per share to $.10 from $.11, in line with the consensus estimate.

Lawson also increased the estimate for Affy's FY 2009 revenues to $335.4 million from $325 million, still short of the consensus estimate of $338.8 million, while lowering his estimated net loss per share on the firm to $.23 from $.35, versus a consensus loss per share estimate of $.14. His estimate assumes organic growth of 3.1 percent, he wrote in a research note.

The bank initiated its 2011 estimates on the firm with expected revenues of $353 million and EPS of $.03.

"We remain highly cautious on Affymetrix as they restructure their business and face fierce competition," Lawson wrote. "However, we feel short-term events could provide tailwinds for the stock."

Among those short-term events, which also were highlighted by Affy CEO Kevin King at last week's JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, are NIH stimulus funding, reacceleration of Genome-Wide Association Studies, and an increasing move into fast-growing, downstream target validation.

Affy is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 financial results on Feb. 3.

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