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Fluidigm Rides Single-Cell Analysis Growth to 43 Percent Spike in Q3 Revenues

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Fluidigm reported after the market closed on Wednesday that its third quarter revenues increased 43 percent year over year, driven by growth in both consumables and instrumentation, and particularly by single-cell genomics applications.

The firm's shares spiked in Thursday morning trade on the Nasdaq, rising 18 percent to $30.00.

For the three months ended September 30, total revenues were $18.3 million compared to $12.8 million for the third quarter of 2012, and beating the average Wall Street estimate of $16.7 million.

During the quarter, Fluidigm posted $18 million in product revenues, a 43 percent increase from $12.6 million a year ago. Within product revenues, instrument revenues increased 61 percent year over year to $10.9 million from $6.8 million, while consumables revenues grew 22 percent to $7.2 million from $5.9 million.

Revenue growth in the quarter was fueled by contributions from both the C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep and BioMark HD Systems. Single-cell genomics applications accounted for approximately 45 percent of the company's product revenue and more than doubled year over year. The company noted that, consistent with previous quarters, C1 system sales stimulated BioMark sales, as approximately 30 percent of C1 sales were bundled with a BioMark.

Fluidigm said that its installed instrument base increased to about 845 units at the end of the third quarter. Analytical systems, including the BioMark, BioMark HD, and EP1, accounted for approximately 60 percent of the installed base, while preparatory systems, including the Access Array and C1, comprised the remaining 40 percent. Approximately 65 percent of BioMark HD system sales during the quarter were related to single-cell research.

"Single-cell genomics continues to be our primary differentiator and driver of growth," Fluidigm President and CEO Gajus Worthington said during a conference call recapping the Q3 results. "We are stimulating new single-cell customers to jump into the nascent and exciting field. These customers were previously on the sidelines due to the daunting workflow and cost of isolating and preparing single-cell samples for genomics-based analysis. The C1 has changed this."

By the end of the third quarter, Worthington noted, the company had sold nearly 160 BioMark systems that were motivated by single-cell research, and the number of total installed C1 systems expanded to just under 100 total units at the end of Q3.

Looking ahead, Fluidigm plans to continue to expand the application menu of the C1, which it believes will "further expand the community of single-cell researchers and also increase consumables pull-through," Worthington said.

For example, the company remains on track to introduce single-cell whole-genome amplification for the C1 by the end of the year, which will enable researchers to "cost-effectively perform DNA sequencing on individual cells in a simple and reproducible manner."

Beyond single-cell applications, Worthington also noted that sales to pharma companies and academic core labs during the quarter were "robust" and that the company's Japanese subsidiary delivered record revenues. Last quarter the company had reported that sales from its Japan subsidiary were "weak," but that a new management team was expected to boost those receipts.

Consumables pull-through for its analytical systems stayed within its historical range of $40,000 to $50,000 per instrument per year, while consumables pull-through for its preparatory systems was above its historical range of $10,000 to $15,000, Fluidigm said.

The firm's net loss for the quarter was $4.3 million, or $.17 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.2 million, or $.18 per share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, its net loss for the quarter was $1.5 million, or $.06 per share, compared to the consensus Wall Street estimate of a $.20 loss per share.

Fluidigm's R&D costs rose to $5.0 million from $4.1 million a year ago, while its SG&A spending increased to $12.1 million from $9.1 million. The company finished the third quarter with $20.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $43.6 million in short-term investments.

Fluidigm raised its anticipated full-year 2013 revenue growth to a range of 32 to 34 percent from an earlier range of 27 to 31 percent.