Cepheid reports sales, revenue increases

Nov. 7, 2002 — Cepheid Inc., whose biodetection technology is being used in a prototype anthrax monitoring system by the U.S. Postal Service, reported a 91 percent increase in sales and a 59 percent increase in revenues for the third quarter of 2002 compared to 2001.

But income remained in the red, with Cepheid posting a net loss of $5.8 million, or $0.20 per share for the third quarter of 2002, compared to a net loss of $4.0 million, or $0.15 per share, for the same quarter in 2001.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based biotech company released its report Wednesday after the close of the stock markets. Product sales for the quarter ending Sept. 30 totaled $3.8 million, up from $2.0 million for the third quarter of 2001. Total revenues reached $4.4 million compared to $2.8 million for the same quarter of 2001.

In a conference call after the close, Cepheid’s chief executive, John Bishop, indicated the postal service program was on track, although the initial deadline for awarding the contract was September. Cepheid partner Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. are competing for the deal. Cepheid would supply Northrop Grumman with automated DNA detection devices that provide rapid results. “At this point, the biothreat detection system being developed by the consortium is the system under consideration,” Bishop said in a prepared statement.

The award could boost Cepheid’s sales by $14 million to $23 million and pare losses significantly, Bishop said. He added that the biothreat market was one of three Cepheid is pursuing. Cepheid also is targeting the life sciences and clinical diagnostic markets with its SmartCycler and GeneXpert products. Cepheid already sold 894 SmartCyclers worldwide for life science applications and plans to launch its automated GeneXpert commercially in 2004. The GeneXpert is used in the postal service’s system.


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