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WaferGen Q3 Revenues Up 20 Percent on SmartChip Sales

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – WaferGen Bio-systems reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its third quarter revenues rose 20 percent, driven by a 62 percent increase in SmartChip system sales. The results were in line with preliminary revenues released last month.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, WaferGen reported total revenues of $2.4 million compared to $2.0 million in Q3 2015.

"We are pleased with the continued growth of WaferGen revenues which is being spurred by new applications for our ICELL8, SmartChip, and Apollo systems," WaferGen CEO Rollie Carlson said in a statement. "We are on track to achieve consolidated 2016 revenues exceeding $9 million and provide stockholders more clarity of the benefit they will receive from the merger with Takara Bio USA."

On a conference call following the release of results, Carlson said the firm had placed fourICELL8 Single-Cell Systems in the quarter and 12 since launching the product in October 2015.

Product revenue in the quarter increased 27 percent to $2.4 million from $1.9 million, largely attributable to increases in ICELL8 sales. SmartChip consumables sales rose 14 percent and
Apollo business products sales rose 9 percent, the firm said, with particularly strong sales in the Asia Pacific region.

WaferGen also noted that a special shareholder meeting to vote on the proposed merger with Takara Bio USA was adjourned and rescheduled to Nov. 15.  Proxies received so far have indicated that shareholders are in favor of the merger proposal, the company added, but approval of a majority of all outstanding shares is necessary for the proposal to go forward.

"Please vote now so the merger can be approved when the meeting reconvenes," Carlson said on the call. If approved, WaferGen executives said that the consideration paid by Takara would be determined by an escalating multiplier of 2016 consolidated revenues. As the firm is currently on track to reach consolidated revenues of more than $9 million, they noted, that would lead to a consideration of 3.5 times that amount.

The company's quarterly net loss widened slightly to $3.7 million from $3.5 million in the year-ago period. However, loss per share narrowed to $.19 from $.61 in Q3 2015 as the number of shares used to compute the net loss rose to approximately 18.9 million from 5.7 million a year earlier.

WaferGen's R&D spending fell 8 percent to $2.2 million from $2.4 million in Q3 2015, attributable to reassigning staff after the ICELL8 launch. Its SG&A expenses jumped 18 percent to $2.6 million from $2.2 million, attributable to higher spending on sales and marketing and professional fees, some of which were related to the proposed merger.

The firm ended the quarter with $5.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, noting that it believes this is sufficient to fund operations into 2017. WaferGen officials said that, upon approval of the merger agreement, the firm could draw as much as $5 million from Takara Bio to cover operating costs until the merger is completed.

WaferGen maintained its full year 2016 guidance for revenues of $10 million to $12 million.

The firm's shares fell 2 percent to $.81 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.

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