Why Sequenom, Inc. Shares Took Flight

Sequenom shares soar after the company delivers better-than-expected first-quarter results. Can shares head even higher?

May 2, 2014 at 1:54PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM), a developer of genomic and genetic analysis diagnostic solutions, jumped as much as 15% after the company reported its first-quarter results after the closing bell last night.

So what: For the quarter, Sequenom reported revenue of $46.3 million, a 20% increase over the prior-year period, with diagnostic service revenue growing 27% year over year and 13% from the sequential fourth quarter. Overall laboratory test volume nearly hit 50,000 according to its press release, with its prenatal Down syndrome test, MaterniT21 PLUS, accounting for 39,800 of those tests. Net loss shrank considerably to $15.7 million, or $0.13 per share from $29.4 million, or $0.26 per share in the year-ago period. An 8% increase in gross margin to 44% certainly played in a role in its loss reduction. By comparison, Wall Street had expected Sequenom to report a slightly wider loss of $0.14 per share on $46.1 million in revenue.

Now what: Might Sequenom finally be turning the corner? I have to admit I'm pleasantly surprised by the company's 47% reduction in net loss, although I've witnessed Sequenom cut costs previously only to see its losses move higher once again a few quarters later. This, however, seems different from its previous attempts to turn the corner. Test volume for its MaterniT21 PLUS test is gaining traction and the company is diversifying its product offerings into the clinical setting to be used for personalizing medicine in the cancer research field. While the bottom line is that Sequenom is still losing money, there's a lot to be encouraged about following today's results. I'd be willing to suggest that health care-savvy investors with a higher degree of risk tolerance and long-term investing time frame give Sequenom a deeper dive as you might like what you find.

Sequenom may be soaring today, but it'll probably have a tough time keeping pace with this top stock over the long run
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