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Fluidigm Posts 26 Percent Revenue Growth for Q1

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm reported after the close of the market Thursday that its first-quarter revenues increased 26 percent with strong growth for both its instruments and consumables.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based firm had total revenues of $10.9 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to $8.7 million for the first quarter of 2011. It beat Wall Street's estimate for revenues of $10.8 million.

Its instrument sales climbed 18 percent to $5.9 million from $5 million, and its consumables revenues jumped 40 percent to $4.9 million from $3.5 million. License, collaboration, and grant revenues were $189,000 versus $285,000 for the first quarter of 2011.

Fluidigm's net loss for the quarter was $6.7 million, or $.33 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.3 million, or $1.60 per share, for the first quarter of 2011. Its non-GAAP net loss was $5.1 million, or $.25 per share, falling short of analysts' consensus loss per share of $.22.

Its R&D spending increased 34 percent to $4.3 million from $3.2 million, and its SG&A costs increased 27 percent to $9.4 million from $7.4 million.

"For the second quarter in a row, about two-thirds of BioMark HD sales were designated for single-cell genomic research use," Fluidigm President and CEO Gajus Worthington said in a statement. "Consumable pull-through was healthy for all our major applications, indicating that our growing installed base is being put to good use. In addition, we revealed what the future for single-cell genomics will entail, with the expected launch of our C1 Single-Cell AutoPrep System later this year."

He said on a conference call following the release of the results that the firm saw a "substantial uptick" sales of its AccessArray instruments to labs that will use it for multiple next-generation sequencing platforms. "We expect this product line to continue to grow, but it won't be as fast as last year, due primarily to competition now that both Life Tech and Illumina make products that are competitive with the AccessArray," Worthington added.

He also said that chip sales for gene expression were at an all-time high in the quarter." This is especially noteworthy because Q1 is typically the most challenging quarter of the year, and always down sequentially."

Fluidigm finished the quarter with $8.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $30.4 million in short-term investments.

The firm expects full-year product revenues to grow between 25 percent and 30 percent over 2011 product revenues of $40.6 million. It expects 2012 grant revenue to be around $600,000.

In early Friday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Fluidigm were down 1 percent at $14.46.

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