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Fluidigm Q3 Revenues Jump 50 Percent Driven by COVID-19 Testing

NEW YORK – Fluidigm reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its third quarter revenues jumped 50 percent year over year driven largely by products related to COVID-19 testing and research.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2020, Fluidigm tallied $39.9 million in revenues compared to $26.5 million a year ago and well above analysts' consensus estimate of $32.5 million.

Product revenue grew 41 percent to $29.2 million in Q3 from $20.7 million a year ago, while service revenue ticked up 9 percent to $6.1 million from $5.6 million. Fluidigm logged $4.5 million in other revenue compared to essentially none a year ago.

The firm reported $12.7 million in instrument revenue and $16.6 million in consumables revenue in Q3. By product type, Q3 mass cytometry product and service revenue fell 3 percent to $15.1 million from $15.5 million, while microfluidics product and services revenue soared 88 percent to $20.2 million from $10.7 million a year ago.

Fluidigm has continued to pivot from primarily microfluidics-based single-cell biology and proteomic mass cytometry to include products and services related to diagnostic testing and research related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In late August the firm received US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for its saliva-based Advanta Dx SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay for COVID-19.

The company also achieved an initial milestone payment of $11.7 million under a National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) contract, eventually finalizing that in late September.

Fluidigm said that it sold 795,000 COVID-19 assays in the third quarter, as well as 30 Biomark HD instruments.

"These new accounts … are broadening our installed base into clinical labs poised to ramp production in coming quarters," Fluidigm CEO Chris Linthwaite said during a conference call to discuss the company's financial results.

In addition, earlier on Thursday Fluidigm said that it has partnered with Healthvana, a developer of mobile phone-based patient portals, to provide clinical laboratory customers using the Advanta Dx test with the option to deliver test results faster via Healthvana's mobile platform.

Regarding COVID-19-related research, Linthwaite said the company's mass cytometry suspension and imaging platforms have had a "significant impact."

"Our MaxPar Direct immune profiling assay … a 37-marker panel with a customized analytical package for measuring immune response, has provided a standard method for assessing immune system response in infected populations," Linthwaite said. "The suspension platform could be impactful for second-stage vaccine development programs and novel therapeutic intervention studies. Our imaging platform is providing insights on immune response and tissue damage triggered by COVID infection. And our therapeutic insight service has executed 20 studies including several oriented on COVID-related research."

Fluidigm shaved its Q3 net loss to $6.0 million, or $.08 per share, from $12.9 million, or $.19 per share, a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, Fluidigm reported net income of $2.5 million and earnings per share of $.03, beating Wall Street's average estimate of a loss per share of $.20.

The firm's Q3 R&D expenses rose 14 percent to $8.1 million from $7.1 million a year ago, while its SG&A spending increased 10 percent to $22.7 million from $20.7 million.

Fluidigm finished the quarter with $72.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company suspended financial guidance for 2020 due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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