Celera reports widening loss for 2nd quarter


January 28, 2000|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFF

PE Corp.-Celera Genomics Group, a blueprinter of human genetics whose shares have soared this month, reported a widening loss yesterday on much higher revenue for its fiscal 2000 second quarter, which ended Dec. 31.

Celera, based in Rockville, has seen its shares rise from the $14 range in June to a high of $270 this month on news that its map of the human genome was 90 percent finished, as well as on the announcement that it would split its stock 2-for-1.

The shares closed yesterday at $232, down $13.88.

For the second quarter, Celera said its net loss, after credit for taxes, was $24.3 million, or 94 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $8.6 million, or 35 cents per share, for the comparable three months the year before.

The second-quarter operating loss -- a measure of the losses generated by the operations of the business -- grew from $12.9 million last year to $39.3 million in the current year.

Revenue rose nearly fivefold, from $1.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 1999, to $8.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2000.

The company said the jump in revenue was due to subscription payments from customers and genomic service agreements reached in the second half of fiscal 1999.

The increase in both the net losses and operating losses stemmed from planned increases in expenses related to the building of Celera's infrastructure for rapidly sequencing, analyzing and delivering a variety of genomic database products, the company said.

Research and development expenses for the second quarter of fiscal 2000 were $38.1 million, up from $29.9 million for the second quarter the year before.

The stock split announced by the company a week ago takes effect Feb. 18 and is payable to shareholders of record as of Feb. 4.

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