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Natera Grows Q4 and Full Year 2018 Revenues More Than 20 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Natera reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its fourth quarter 2018 revenues grew 29 percent, beating Wall Street's expectations.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2018, Natera recognized $67.0 million in revenue compared to $52.0 million in Q4 2017. Analysts, on average, had anticipated Q4 2018 revenues of $64.0 million.

The molecular diagnostics firm's testing volume grew 26 percent to 174,200 tests in Q4 from 137,800 tests in Q4 2017. The total number of tests processed included 119,700 of its Panorama noninvasive prenatal test and 46,100 of its Horizon carrier screening test.

Natera's net loss for the quarter was $31.8 million, or $.51 per share, compared to a net loss of $47.2 million, or $.90 per share, in Q4 2017. It just beat Wall Street's expected net loss of $.52 per share.

The firm's R&D expenses in Q4 2018 were $12.8 million, about 2 percent lower than its prior-year R&D expenses of $13.0 million. Its SG&A expenses declined 16 percent to $41.1 million from $48.9 million.

Natera's revenues for full year 2018 increased 23 percent to $257.7 million from $209.6 million, and it processed a total of 668,600 tests during the year, an approximately 30 percent increase from the 515,200 tests it ran in 2017.

In 2018, Natera "grew revenues substantially over 2017, doubled our volume growth rate year over year, and delivered compelling data in both oncology and in kidney transplant rejection," Natera CEO Steve Chapman said in a statement. "We see 2019 as a key inflection point for Natera across reproductive health, oncology, and transplant."

During a conference call with investors discussing the firm's fourth quarter and full year performance, Chapman added that Natera signed deals worth $9.1 million with pharmaceutical companies to use its circulating tumor DNA assay, Signatera, and expects to reach $40 million to $50 million in cumulative contracted value by the end of 2019.

The firm's net loss during 2018 was $128.2 million, or $2.22 per share, down from its 2017 net loss of $137.6 million, or $2.59 per share. Wall Street expected a loss per share of $2.23 for FY 2018.

Natera's full year 2018 R&D expenses increased around 2 percent to $51.4 million from $50.1 million, while its SG&A expenses were approximately flat at $154.9 million compared to $155.3 million in 2017.

For 2019, Natera projects that its full year revenues will be between $275 million and $302 million.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, Natera held $46.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and $107.5 million in short-term investments.

In Wednesday morning trading, Natera's stock was up around 22 percent at $20.34 per share on the Nasdaq.

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