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PacBio's Q1 Revenues Sink 44 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences reported after the close of the market Tuesday that its first-quarter 2013 revenues dropped 44 percent year over year and 5 percent sequentially.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based single molecule sequencing technologies firm reported total revenues of $5.6 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to $10 million for the first quarter of 2012 and $5.9 million for the last quarter of 2012.

Its product revenue was down both year over year and sequentially to $3.8 million, compared to $8.7 million in the year-ago quarter and $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Service and other revenue was up, at $1.5 million, compared to $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. Grant revenue was flat at $270,000.

The company took orders for four PacBio RS instruments in the quarter, bringing its backlog to six, reflecting both the booked systems and an additional two carried forward from December 2012.

PacBio's instrument revenue in the quarter was $1.9 million from three systems, compared to $3 million from five systems in the previous quarter, and $7.9 million from 11 systems in the first quarter of 2012.

Its consumables revenue grew 46 percent sequentially to $1.9 million from $1.3 million, "driven by a significant jump in system utilization," PacBio President and CEO Mike Hunkapiller said on a conference call following the release of the results.

Company officials said that the average consumable revenue per system has increased each quarter, and this quarter reached an annualized run rate of $100,000 per system, with some customers generating an annualized run rate as high as $300,000 per system.

The amount of the increase in consumable revenue was "surprising," said Ben Gong, vice president of finance and treasurer, and "we would not expect to see another sequential jump right away."

PacBio posted a net loss for the quarter of $21.1 million, or $.37 per share, compared to a net loss of $27.5 million, or $.50 per share, in the prior year quarter.

The firm's R&D expenses totaled $12 million, down slightly from $12.1 million in Q1 2012, while SG&A expenses dropped 37 percent to $9.6 million from $15.3 million year over year.

As of March 31, 2013, the firm had cash and investments of $112.3 million.

PacBio recently launched its RS II, which doubles the throughput of the earlier-generation RS. "We believe our recent launch of RS II, coupled with higher utilization of the installed base, will drive new bookings as new customers see more impressive results coming out of our existing installed base and some high volume customers need to add to their capacity," said Hunkapiller.

Gong anticipated that Q2 revenues will be about the same as Q1, but beyond that the company forecasts sequential growth and higher total revenue in 2013 compared to 2012, including a doubling of system orders.

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