Friday, March 12, 2010

Sequenom Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM): Q4 Earnings Preview 2009

Sequenom Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) is scheduled to release financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter after the closing bell on Monday, March 15, 2010. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report a loss of 25 cents per share on revenue of $9.10 million. In the year ago quarter, the company reported a loss of 25 cents per share on revenue of $12.16 million.

Sequenom, Inc. is a life sciences company committed to improving healthcare through revolutionary genetic analysis solutions. Sequenom develops innovative technology, products and diagnostic tests that target and serve discovery and clinical research, and molecular diagnostics markets.

In the preceding third quarter, the San Diego, California-based company reported wider loss of $14.9 million or $0.24 per share, compared with $10.4 million or $0.18 per share, in the year ago quarter. Revenue decreased to $1.83 billion $9.2 million, compared with $11.6 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report a loss of $0.28 per share. Gross margin for the third quarter was 71%, compared with 61% for the previous year quarter, reflecting higher consumable sales as a percentage of the company's product sales.

During February, Sequenom launched two tests that will be offered through its CLIA lab, the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine. Sequenom Inc. unveiled its fetal test for sex determination based on its SEQureDx technology. Earlier, it also launched a test to detect any incompatibility between the mother's and the fetus' blood type.

Sequenom’s share price collapsed last year after mishandling of some research data led to the ouster of the CEO and other senior executives and cast doubt on the company’s ability to develop a non-invasive diagnostic test for Down Syndrome.

In January, Sequenom said it would pay $14 million plus stock to settle a class action securities lawsuit over the mishandling of study data on a potential test for Down syndrome. Sequenom admitted to no liability in the settlement.

Shares of the genetics analysis and testing firm have surged this year on analyst upgrades. Recently, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pamela Bassett boosted her rating on the company, citing settlement of a recent lawsuit and progress in the diagnostic test maker's pipeline of products. Bassett also cited the company's pipeline of products as potential drivers for the company. Those products include diagnostic systems for cystic fibrosis, genotyping and molecular diagnostics. "We think Sequenom's commitment to launching its next-generation MassARRAY platform will be a key driver of long-term growth," she said. "We expect the company to expand its portfolio of molecular diagnostics and think the next-generation MassARRAY could be a beacon for attracting new molecular diagnostics."

However, many industry experts are still skeptical of the huge rally witnessed in Sequenom stock in past couple of months. In terms of stock performance, Sequenom shares are down 28% over the past year.

Full Disclosure: None.
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