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Fluidigm Posts 21 Percent Q4 Sales Growth

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its fourth-quarter revenues increased 21 percent year over year, as the firm easily beat the consensus Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom line.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based microfluidic systems developer had total revenues of $15.7 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to $13 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. Analysts, on average, had expected revenues of $14.7 million.

Fluidigm reported instrument revenue of $9.6 million versus $7.4 million for Q4 2011 and consumables revenue of $5.8 million versus $4.9 million. Its license, collaboration, and grant revenue fell to $297,000 from $706,000 year over year.

"In the quarter, we experienced significant momentum in the single-cell genomics market," Fluidigm President and CEO Gajus Worthington said in a statement. He cited the launch of the firm's C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System in the middle of 2012 and noted that the company has sold 36 of the systems since its launch.

"We are also seeing healthy demand from our production genomics customers who utilize our technology for high-throughput repeat testing applications, both in the human and agricultural genomics markets," Worthington added. "Analytical systems (BioMark HD and EP1) sales rebounded from the previous quarter and grew approximately 50 percent sequentially, driven by single-cell applications."

Worthington estimated on a conference call following the release of the results that 40 percent of the firm's revenues in the quarter were driven by single-cell genomics research.

While he credited the launch of the C1 system as a key reason for the firm's growing presence in that market, Worthington said that "single-cell genomics continues to be a strong motivator for BioMark HD sales, as approximately 60 percent of units were driven by single-cell gene expression."

He further noted that approximately 25 percent of C1 sales in the quarter also included a BioMark HD system.

Fluidigm posted a net loss of $3.6 million, or $.14 per share, for the quarter, compared to a loss of $3.5 million, or $.17 per share, for the comparable period a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, its loss per share was $.08, easily beating the Wall Street estimate of $.16.

The firm's R&D spending for the quarter increased around 8 percent to $4.3 million from $4 million, and its SG&A costs increased nearly 33 percent to $10.6 million from $8 million.

For full-year 2012, Fluidigm reported revenues of $52.3 million, up 22 percent from $42.9 million in 2011. It beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $51.4 million.

Its instrument revenue climbed to $29.2 million from $25.2 million, and its consumables revenue rose to $22.3 million from $15.4 million. License, collaboration, and grant revenue declined to $846,000 from $2.3 million.

Fluidigm's installed base of instruments was around 670 units as of the end of 2012. It said that analytical systems — consisting of its BioMark, BioMark HD, and EP1 — represented approximately 65 percent of the installed base, while preparatory systems, which include its Access Array and C1, represented the remainder of that base.

Fluidigm posted a net loss of $19 million, or $.86 per share, for the year, down from $22.5 million, or $1.81 per share. On a non-GAAP basis, its loss-per-share for the year was $.58, compared to the average analyst estimate of $.89.

The firm reported R&D expenses of $16.6 million for the year, up 19 percent from $13.9 million in 2011, while its SG&A spending climbed 23 percent to $38.5 million from $31.3 million.

Fluidigm finished the year with $58.6 million in cash and cash equivalents and $21.4 million in short-term investments.

For full-year 2013, Fluidigm expects to report revenue growth of between 22 percent and 26 percent.

In Wednesday morning trade on the Nasdaq shares of Fluidigm were up a fraction of 1 percent at $16.72.

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