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Natera's Q1 Revenues Jump 31 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Natera's first quarter 2016 revenues increased 31 percent over the first quarter of 2015, the company said after the close of the market on Tuesday.

Natera generated total revenues of $61.9 million in the first quarter 2016, up from $47.4 million in the first quarter of 2015. It beat analysts' average estimate of $48.2 million.

During a conference call discussing its first quarter performance, CEO Matt Rabinowitz said that Natera had entered into an in-network contract with United Healthcare that went into effect on April 1. Rabinowitz said that although the contract did not specify whether coverage was for high-risk or average-risk pregnancies, as per United Healthcare's medical policy, the payor currently only covers NIPT for high-risk pregnancies.

Including its in-network contracts with Anthem, Cigna, HealthNet and others, Natera's total covered lives under in-network contract are now greater than 175 million in its direct commercial channel, Rabinowitz said.

The San Carlos, California-based molecular diagnostic company accessioned more than 105,000 tests in Q1 2016, up 64 percent from 64,000 tests in Q1 2015. Its noninvasive prenatal test, Panorama, accounted for 81,000 tests, up 47 percent from the 55,000 it ran in the prior year Q1. The company also ran 19,400 of its Horizon carrier screening test in Q1 2016 compared to 6,000 in Q1 2015.

"We believe we are the NIPT volume leader in the US," Rabinowitz added on the call.

Natera's net loss in Q1 2016 was $8.7 million, or $.17 per share, compared to $10.0 million in Q1 2015, or $1.89 per share. Wall Street estimated Natera's net loss would be $.46 per share.

Natera's R&D expenses in the quarter were $8.8 million, up from $5.6 million in the prior-year period, while SG&A expenses were $30.4 million, up from $23.2 million.

The company said it anticipates recognizing revenues between $200 million and $220 million for full year 2016.

Rabinowitz said in a statement that the company's first quarter performance "demonstrates the strength of our commercial offering." In addition, progress on reducing its costs of goods and services as well as in-network agreements "position us well for long-term leadership in women's health and other areas of genetic testing such as oncology."

The firm ended the quarter with $34.0 million in cash and cash equivalents and $196.6 million in short-term investments.

In Wednesday morning trade, Natera was up 20 percent.