Celera loss grew, but less than was predicted

October 25, 2002|By Julie Bell | Julie Bell,SUN STAFF

Celera Genomics Group said yesterday that its fiscal first-quarter loss widened by more than 25 percent as revenue decreased and expenses associated with drug-discovery and diagnostic programs grew.

The Rockville company said it lost $19.6 million, or 28 cents a share, on revenue of $23.6 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

Analysts had expected a loss of 35 cents a share, according to the average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.

The company lost $15.6 million, or 25 cents per share, on revenue of $27.3 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The decline in revenue resulted largely from Celera's decision not to pursue more business sequencing genomes for others. The company, best known for sequencing the human genome in a race with a publicly funded project, has shifted its strategy to becoming a drug discoverer.

"We have recently directed more resources to the advancement of internal drug-development efforts, including our most promising projects targeting asthma and anti-coagulation," Celera President Kathy Ordonez said in a statement.

Shares of Celera fell 40 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $8.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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