Cepheid narrows loss in fourth quarter

Feb. 6, 2003 — Cepheid Inc., the company that provides the anthrax detection component in a mail sorting system under review by the U.S. Postal Service, narrowed its losses in the last quarter of 2002. But its decision to boost R&D and marketing efforts in 2002 contributed to an annual net loss of $19.7 million, or $0.70 a share, up from $15.5 million, or $0.60 a share, for 2001. It reported its fourth quarter and 2002 annual results Wednesday.

Cepheid’s sales totaled $3.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2002, up 26 percent from the same quarter last year. Revenues rose 47 percent to $4.7 million for the quarter, up from $3.2 million for the last quarter of 2001. Total operating costs and expenses reached $8.1 million for the quarter, up $7.5 million from a year ago.

Costs and expenses for the year rose to $34.5 million for 2002, up from $28 million for 2001. The hike in part is due to Cepheid Chief Executive John Bishop’s decision to invest in the research and development and marketing of the GeneXpert, a portable and fast DNA-based system for identifying pathogens. Cepheid intends to launch the GeneXpert this year. It also lists winning the Postal Service’s contract among its goals for the year. Cepheid’s stock, which trades on the Nasdaq, was at $4.49 a share late Thursday afternoon, down from Wednesday’s close of $5.34.


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