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Mizuho Downgrades Fluidigm to Neutral, Trims Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Mizuho Securities today downgraded Fluidigm to Neutral, citing a cooling sentiment to both the genomics and academic markets.

Mizuho initiated coverage of Fluidigm in August with a Buy rating, but analyst Peter Lawson noted a survey also released today by the investment bank, which found that the normally bullish genomics market was growing more cautious "and is now only marginally ahead of academia," amid concerns about funding both in the near as well as longer term.

"When we launched coverage on August 30, upper-end valuation, potential acquisitions, and competitive noise capped our price target," Lawson said. "With the stock nearing our price target and a weaker end-market environment, we are downgrading the stock to Neutral until we get better clarity on the macroenvironment and sentiment."

Lawson also noted Affymetrix's pre-announcement on Monday that its third-quarter revenues are expected to fall short of consensus Wall Street projections, saying Affy's preliminary results add "caution to both the genomics and cellular markets."

He lowered his third-quarter revenue estimate for Fluidigm today to $13.5 million from $15.5 million and increased the adjusted loss-per-share estimate to $.22 from $.19. He also shaved revenue estimates for full-year 2013 to $64.6 million from $70 million and raised the loss-per-share estimate to $.73 from $.65.

The consensus Wall Street estimate for third-quarter revenues is $13.7 million with an adjusted loss-per-share of $.21. For 2013, the consensus estimate is for $67.3 million in revenues with an adjusted loss-per-share of $.54.

Lawson maintained a $17 price target on the company's stock.

In Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Fluidigm were down 4 percent to $15.64.