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Fluidigm's Q3 Revenues Rise 25 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its third-quarter revenues increased 25 percent to $10.6 million from $8.5 million year over year, matching Wall Street expectations.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based microfluidics systems maker reported instrument revenue of $6.4 million versus $5 million for the comparable quarter of 2010 and consumables revenue of $3.7 million, up from $2.2 million. Revenues from licensing agreements, collaborations, and grants were $428,000, down from $1.3 million.

"Commercial execution was a major focus for us, and I'm pretty pleased with how we did in our three major application areas — single cell genomics, sample prep for targeted resequencing, and SNP genotyping," Fluidigm President and CEO Gajus Worthington said on a conference call following the release of the results.

He said about half of the BioMark HD instruments sold during the quarter were for single cell research, up substantially year over year. Revenues from next-generation sequencing sample prep, run the firm's Access Array system, grew more than 100 percent year over year, Worthington noted.

Vikram Jog, CFO of Fluidigm, said on the call, that 60 percent of the firm's revenues came from US customers, 24 percent from Europe, 11 percent from Asia-Pacific, and 5 percent from Japan.

He added that the firm has not experienced a slowdown in revenues from government/academic customers, a trend among many firms in the research tools space for the third quarter.

Fluidigm's net loss for the quarter was $4.5 million, or $.22 per share, compared to $3.4 million, or $1.78 per share, for Q3 2010. It beat analysts' consensus estimate of a loss of $.22 per share.

The firm's R&D spending dropped 6 percent to $3.3 million from $3.5 million, while its SG&A spending jumped 45 percent to $8.1 million from $5.6 million.

During the quarter Fluidigm made a payment of $2 million to Life Technologies tied to the exercise of an option that shields itself from litigation related to Life Tech's PCR patents, some of which were the subject of lawsuits the two firms filed against each other in June.

In addition, Fluidigm said that it paid Caliper Life Sciences $500,000 to amend an earlier agreement between the firms, Under the amended deal, royalty rates payable to Caliper beginning in January 2012 were "substantially reduced and the period for which we are obligated to make royalty payments were shortened, with the last payment due in mid-2018," said Fluidigm.

The firm finished the quarter with $58.9 million in cash, cash equivalents, and available-for-sale securities.

Fluidigm also raised its product revenue growth guidance for full-year 2011 to a range of between 31 percent and 33 percent from a previous range of between 27 percent to 30 percent. It expects revenues from grants and collaborations to be around $2 million for the year.

Worthington said on the call that the forecast implies fourth-quarter 2011 revenues of around $12 million.

In early Wednesday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Fluidigm were down less than 1 percent at $13.57, compared to a more than 2 percent drop from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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