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Echo Therapeutics, Inc. (ECTE - Snapshot Report) posted narrower loss per share of 23 cents in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $1.30 in the comparable quarter of 2013. With this, loss per share also compared favorably with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 26 cents.

Net loss lowered significantly by 60.3% to $2.8 million in the reported quarter from a loss of $7.0 million incurred a year ago.

However, following the earnings release, shares of ECTE crashed 32.6% to close at $2.07 till the last reported session as the company continues to make losses.

Revenues

Total revenue in the quarter came in at $19.1 thousand, reflecting a decline of 15.3% from $22.6 thousand in the year-earlier quarter.

Expenses

In the first quarter of 2014, total operating expenses more than halved to $2.7 million from $5.5 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Research and development expenses dropped substantially by 64.3% to $1.1 million. The reduction can be attributed to engineering and design expenses incurred in 2013 on outside contractors and personnel related to its Symphony CGM System development which did not reoccur in 2014.
 
Selling, general and administrative expenses slid 33.1% to $1.5 million on the back of decreased personnel and other related costs.

As a result of decline in operational expenses, operating loss for the first quarter of 2014 narrowed down by 51.4% to $2.7 million from $5.5 million a year ago.

Financial Position
 
ECTE had cash and cash equivalents of $7.1 million as of Mar 31, 2014, down 12.1% from $8.1 million as of Dec 31, 2013. Deferred revenues decreased to $133.7 thousand at the end of the quarter from $152.9 thousand as of Dec 31, 2013.

Zacks Rank

Currently, ECTE retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the medical instruments industry include RTI Surgical Inc. (RTIX - Snapshot Report), Accuray Incorporated (ARAY - Analyst Report) and Globus Medical, Inc. (GMED - Snapshot Report). While RTI Surgical sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Accuray and Globus Medical hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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