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Natera Q3 Revenues Grow 5 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Natera reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its third quarter 2017 revenues were up 5 percent compared to revenues in the third quarter of 2016.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the San Carlos, California-based molecular diagnostics company reported total revenues of $56.7 million, compared to $53.9 million in Q3 2016, and just beating analysts' average estimate for revenues of $56.0 million.

The company said total testing volume rose 15 percent in Q3, with approximately 130,400 tests processed in Q3, up from 113,500 in the year-ago period. This quarter's tests accessioned included 122,600 in Natera's own labs and 7,800 processed by labs that have licensed the firm's technology through the Constellation software platform.

Natera said it processed approximately 91,200 Panorama tests in Q3, up 4 percent from approximately 87,400 Panorama tests in the year-ago period. The company also accessioned approximately 32,800 Horizon carrier screening tests in Q3, up 60 percent from approximately 20,500 Horizon carrier screening tests accessioned in Q3 2016.

"Revenues and gross margins continued to expand, our new twins screening capability is generating momentum for our core business, and we are excited about the progress we have made in the early days of our RUO oncology platform launch," Natera CEO Matt Rabinowitz said in a statement.

During a conference call discussing the company's Q3 performance, Rabinowitz said that Natera's ability to now screen twin pregnancies with its Panorama test will help it increase market share, particularly with maternal fetal medicine specialists who see a high percentage of twin pregnancies.

Natera's net loss for the quarter widened to $27.1 million or $.51 per share, from $26.0 million, or $.50 per share in the year-ago quarter, missing Wall Street's average estimate for a loss per share of $.48.

The firm's Q3 R&D spending rose 12 percent to $12.6 million from $11.3 million in Q3 2016, while SG&A expenses inched down 1 percent to $34.5 million from $34.9 million in the prior-year period.

Natera finished the quarter with $11.2 million in cash and cash equivalents and $135.0 million in short-term investments.

The company narrowed its 2017 full year guidance to between $212 million and $220 million in revenues, from its previous estimate of $210 million to $230 million. Analysts are expecting revenues of $217.9 million for the year.

Natera CFO Mike Brophy said during the conference call that the company's guidance was wide due to, among other things, uncertainty around the potential impact of prior authorization programs that some insurance companies began adopting earlier this year for genetic tests.

Natera's shares fell more than 11 percent to $9.42 in Thursday morning trading on the Nasdaq.

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