Why Sequenom Shares Slumped

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Sean Williams
Sean Williams
Mar 8, 2013 at 3:12PM
Health Care

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 maker of diagnostic and genetic analysis solutions, slumped by as much as 11% after reporting worse-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, Sequenom reported a big surge in revenue to $33.7 million, up 117% over the year-ago period. The biggest driver was the MaterniT21 non-invasive prenatal test for Down syndrome -- which generated $21.1 million in sales, up from $2.8 million at this time last year. However, expenses also ballooned as more tests were performed and marketing costs rose, resulting in a 3% reduction in gross margin to 37% and a loss of $0.29 per share, $0.07 worse than analysts had projected.

Now what: As usual, Sequenom can't seem to get out of its own way. There has always been plenty of promise that its genetic analysis tools would be widely incorporated into the biomedical arena, but that just hasn't been the case as of yet. While I still see Sequenom as a company that could excel over the long term as genetic products are utilized more frequently to personalize patient care, I wouldn't be surprised if it continued to underperform the broader market over the next couple of quarters.

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