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Cepheid Q1 Revenues Rise 24 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Cepheid said after the close of the market Thursday that its first quarter revenues grew 24 percent year over year, driven primarily by its commercial clinical business.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics firm reported total revenues of $132.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, up from $106.9 million in the comparable quarter a year ago, and beating average analyst estimates of $125.4 million.

Clinical systems revenue shrunk 6 percent to $16.3 million from $17.3 million, while clinical reagents revenue grew 31 percent to $109 million from $83.1 million. Non-clinical and other revenue grew 13 percent $7.3 million from $6.5 million.

Cepheid placed a total of 296 GeneXpert systems in the quarter — 163 systems in its commercial clinical business, including four high-throughput Infinity systems, and 133 systems as part of its high-burden developing country (HBDC) program. The company said it has now placed a cumulative total of 8,321 GeneXpert systems worldwide.

"This marked another quarter of accelerating growth in our commercial clinical business, reflecting continued adoption of our GeneXpert system and the early impact of the investments we are making in expanding the Xpert test menu, further helped by a strong flu season," John Bishop, Cepheid's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said on a conference call recapping the earnings.

Commercial clinical reagent revenue grew 35 percent from Q1 2014, Bishop said, with about $25 million in growth driven by Cepheid's critical infectious disease, hospital acquired infections, and sexual health products.

"In addition to very strong top-line growth in our commercial business, we continued to deliver on our test menu expansion initiatives during the quarter, with the delivery of the Xpert Ebola EUA here in the US, and earlier this month the CE marking of HIV Qualitative and Xpert HCV Viral Load," he said.

This brings the number of commercially available Xpert tests to 17 in the US and 22 outside the US.

Cepheid reported a net income for the quarter of $906,000, or $.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $9.3 million, or $.13 per share, in Q1 2014. On a non-GAAP basis, its Q1 net income was $12.4 million, or $.17 per share. On average, analysts had estimated a loss of $.16 per share.

The company's R&D expenses totaled $24.0 million, up about 10 percent from $21.7 million in the year-ago period, while SG&A expenses rose 12 percent to $41.6 million from $37.1 million.

Cepheid ended the quarter with $109.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $200.9 million in short-term investments.

The firm also updated its full-year 2015 guidance to total revenue in the range of $542 million to $553 million and a net loss in a range from $.47 to $.43 per share.