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CombiMatrix Posts 13 Percent Increase in Q1 Revenues

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – CombiMatrix today announced a 13 percent spike in first quarter revenues, driven by a 34 percent jump in sales generated by its prenatal chromosomal microarray analysis testing services.

The Irvine, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics company said that total revenues for the three months ended March 31 increased to $1.8 million from $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2012.

"We set new all-time records for revenues, chromosomal microarray testing, and total customers, and we see no reason why this growth cannot continue," CEO Mark McDonough said on an earnings call.

The growth in CombiMatrix's core prenatal testing business was driven by a 60 percent increase in billable test volumes. Q1 prenatal testing revenues rose by roughly a third to $1.1 million from $836,000 year over year. The company said it served 150 customers in Q1 compared to 119 in the year-ago period.

CombiMatrix's test mix also shifted year over year in favor of microarrays. CFO Scott Burell said on the call that array-based tests comprised 82 percent of all tests in Q1, compared to 60 percent of tests in Q1 2013. In addition to microarray-based tests, CombiMatrix offers fluorescence in situ hybridization and conventional molecular karyotyping services.

Burell did not break out revenue numbers for CombiMatrix's postnatal constitutional and cancer testing business segments, but said that they were flat year over year.

CombiMatrix's R&D costs dropped 26 percent to $134,000 from $183,000 in Q1 2013, while SG&A costs climbed 30 percent to $2.6 million from $2 million in the year-ago period. McDonough attributed the rise to new sales and marketing hires.

"Today, we are in expansion mode and we are bolstering our sales team," McDonough said. He noted that the company has added five sales executives since the beginning of the year, and now has 12 people selling its tests across the country.

Due to this increase in operating costs, the company's net loss widened to $2 million, or $0.18 per share, from $686,000, or $0.30 per share, year over year.

CombiMatrix had $12.5 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31. The firm said it has "sufficient cash resources to last well beyond 2014."

In Wednesday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of CombiMatrix were down 2 percent at $2.65.