We've seen a lot of creative financing deals by health-care companies in recent months. From Exelixis (Nasdaq: EXEL ) getting a line of credit that it can pay back with stock, to CV Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CVTX ) selling off half of the royalties it's due for its newly approved drug Lexiscan, managers have been thinking outside the box for sure.
Call me old-fashioned, but I'm fond of a nice traditional secondary offering, like the one Sequenom (Nasdaq: SQNM ) did this week. After seeing its stock double in less than a month, thanks to some stellar preliminary results from its prenatal Down syndrome test, the diagnostic-test maker figured now was a perfect time to get some money into the coffers.
It wasn't a small offering, either. Sequenom sold an additional 5.5 million shares, with another 825,000 available if the underwriters need them. That'll increase the total shares outstanding by about 14% if the overallotment is used, but it'll also add nearly $100 million to Sequenom's balance sheet. Considering that it had just $36 million in cash and short-term investments at the end of the first quarter, and an expected burn rate of $26 million to $28 million for the year, the jump in stock price couldn't have come at a better time.
Sequenom currently sells tools for genomic researchers, but like competitors Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX ) and Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN ) , the company is moving into selling diagnostic tests, too. The launch of two fetal tests this year, and hopefully the aforementioned Down syndrome test next year, seems to be Sequenom's best chance at getting into the black. With a lot of extra cash in the bank, Sequenom should have some flexibility to develop additional diagnostic genomic tests to launch in the future. Diagnostic tests are the new black, you know.