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Personalis Q4 Revenues up 11 Percent

NEW YORK – Personalis reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its fourth quarter revenues were up 11 percent year over year, driven by growth in its pharmaceutical services business and other non-VA customers.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2020, the cancer genomics company reported revenues of $20.2 million, up from $18.2 million in the same quarter in 2019 and edging the average Wall Street estimate of $20.1 million.

The company's population sequencing for the VA's Million Veterans Program was down quarter over quarter to $12.6 million from $13.8 million in Q4 2019. However, revenues from biopharmaceutical and other customers grew 73 percent to $7.6 million from $4.4 million a year ago.

On a call discussing the firm's financial results, Personalis CFO Aaron Tachibana attributed the company's record high quarterly revenue to this boost to its biopharma business.

"Sample flow from our biopharma customers was fairly linear throughout the quarter, allowing us to process samples efficiently and also helping to maximize revenue," he added.

Tachibana also said the uptick in biopharma testing contributed to the relative drop in revenue from the VA MVP program.

"We do not have specific testing turnaround times for the VA MVP, therefore we have the ability to modulate volume up or down to complement the biopharma sample testing volume, which can have some variability from time to time," he said. "In the fourth quarter, we had a large quantity of biopharma samples on hand, and therefore we processed fewer VA MVP samples."

The company said that 45 customers had placed orders for its NeXT platform as of the end of 2020, six of them during Q4.

The company's Q4 net loss rose to $13.3 million, or $.34 per share, from $6.6 million, or $.21 per share a year earlier, higher than analysts' average expectation of $.29. The company calculated Q4 net loss using about 39 million weighted-average shares compared to 31.2 million a year ago.

Personalis' Q4 R&D costs rose 15 percent to $8.5 million from $7.4 million in Q4 2019, while its SG&A expenses grew 70 percent to $10.9 from $6.4 million.

For full-year 2020, the company's revenues rose 21 percent to $78.6 million from $65.2 million. Analysts had expected revenues of $73.4 million for the year.

VA MVP revenues grew 29 percent to $56.2 million from $43.5 million in 2019, while biopharmaceutical and other revenues were up about 4 percent to $22.5 million from $21.7 million over the previous year.

According to the company, it has now achieved the milestone of completing more than 100,000 whole human genomes sequenced under its VA MVP contract.

Personalis' net loss for 2020 rose to $41.3 million, or $1.20 per share, from $25.1 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier. Loss per share for 2020 was calculated using about 33.4 million weighted-average shares versus about 18 million in 2019. Wall Street analysists had predicted, on average, a $1.14 per-share loss.

The firm's full-year R&D costs rose 28 percent to $28.6 from $22.4 million in 2019, while its SG&A expenses jumped 52 percent to $33.7 from $22.1 million.

For the first quarter of 2021, Personalis said it expects revenues of approximately $20.3 million, with biopharma and other non-VA customers contributing $5.6 million to $7.0 million. It also projected a Q1 2021 net loss of $14.0 million to $15.0 million.

Tachibana also highlighted the company's January equity offering, which added approximately $162 million to the firm's balance sheet. "This additional capital puts us in a great position to invest in the growth initiatives that are in front of us, such as our liquid biopsy NeXT personal offering, continuing to invest in clinical and regulatory capability, the build out of our China lab ... and others," he said.

The company ended the year with $68.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $134.8 million in short-term investments.

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