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Fluidigm Q4 Revenues Fall 8 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) - Fluidigm announced after the close of the market Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues decreased 8 percent year over year or 4 percent on a constant currency basis.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the South San Francisco, California-based firm reported total revenues of $30.7 million compared to $33.5 million in the year-ago period, within its preannouncement range of $30 million to $31 million in revenues and beating the Wall Street estimate of $29.9 million.

On a conference call following the release of results, Fluidigm CEO Gajus Worthington said that the quarter showed the firm had stabilized its business, but said "there will be no victory laps until we return to robust growth." He attributed the firm's struggles to an "imbalance of attention," but said the company has moved to stem the effect and by adding new resources to address the problem.

Instrument revenue at the company declined 13 percent year over year to $15.7 million due to decreased sales of core genomics systems, partially offset by increased sales of its Helios CyTOF platform and contributions from new products.

Fluidigm's consumables revenue fell 8 percent year over year to $11.7 million primarily due to decreased sales from production genomics applications.

The firm's total installed base at the end of 2015 was 1,630 instruments. Of this, approximately 805 systems were designated for single-cell biology research.

The company's R&D spending in Q4 dropped 17 percent to $9.7 million from $11.7 million in 2014, while its SG&A expenses jumped 17 percent to $22.1 million from $18.8 million. Fluidigm CFO Vikram Jog said the increase in SG&A costs were driven by investments in the firm's global commercial infrastructure.

Fluidigm's net loss for the quarter was $12.9 million, or $.45 per share, compared to $10.9 million, or $.39 per share, in the year-ago period. On average, analysts had expected a net loss of $.53 per share.

For full-year 2015, Fluidigm's revenues decreased 2 percent to $114.7 million from $116.5 million in 2014, beating the consensus analysts' estimate of $113.9 million. On a constant currency basis, revenue for 2015 was up almost 4 percent year over year, the firm said in a statement.

Instrument revenue for the year declined 3 percent to $58.5 million. Consumables revenue declined 7 percent to $43.7 million.

In 2015 Fluidigm's R&D expenses dropped 10 percent to $39.3 million from $43.4 million, while its SG&A expenses jumped 16 percent to $83.0 million from $71.3 million.

Net loss in 2015 was $53.3 million, or $1.86 per share, compared to $52.8 million, or $1.90 per share, in 2014, and ahead of the Wall Street estimate of a loss per share of $1.95.

Fluidigm finished 2015 with approximately $29.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $65.9 million in short-term investments.

For 2016, the company projects total revenue of $124 million to $128 million, which incorporates an estimated negative currency-related impact of approximately 2 percent at the midpoint of the range.

Fluidigm officials also addressed a recently reported issue of single-cell wells capturing more than one cell. The issue is something the firm "fully understands" and a fix should be out in the second quarter of 2016. They added that the guidance reflects any potential hit to placements or consumables pull through, but that the impact was not significant.

Today, Mizuho Securities upgraded shares of Fluidigm to a Buy rating, maintaining a price target of $8. Analyst Eric Criscuolo said shares were trading at a historically low valuation and that "significant operational changes have been implemented that should begin to re-accelerate growth." Fluidigm also noted yesterday that it recently hired new senior vice presidents of marketing and R&D.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Fludigm were up over 8 percent at $6.86.