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Affymetrix 3Q Guidance Disappoints

ILMN AFFX

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Genetic products company, Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX - Analyst Report) recently provided its guidance for the third quarter 2012 results, based on available preliminary financial data. The company will be reporting the results on October, 31 after market closes.

Affymetrix expects revenues to be roughly $80 million in the third quarter of 2012, which is below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $82 million. According to management, declining Euro as well as a difficult global academic funding backdrop is adversely affecting the gene expression and eBioscience unit, thereby constricting the company’s top-line growth.

The company’s share prices dropped 3.1% on October 9, following the disappointing guidance announcement. However, Affymetrix currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We have a long-term ‘Neutral’ recommendation on the stock.  

Affymetrix further stated that the eBioscience business, although integrating well into the company, did not perform up to the mark in the quarter and expects it to contribute $18 million to total revenues. The gene expression unit also disappointed. However, Affymetrix anticipates cytogenetics and genotyping products to grow at a double-digit rate in the reported quarter.

Overall, Affymetrix expects full year 2012 revenues to remain either flat or marginally down, led by Affymetrix’s exposure to the volatile funding environment and weakening Euro. Research and development (R&D) spending by Affymetrix’s customers have fallen considerably due to a weak macroeconomic environment coupled with stringent government actions including budget cuts.

Additionally, following an interest and principal payment of $3.5 million on senior debt, Affymetrix forecasts to generate cash-on-hand of $39.6 million (as of September 30, 2012). The company had ended the year-ago quarter with cash and cash equivalent of $32.4 million.

Affymetrix holds a leading position in the gene expression products and services market. Along with Illumina Inc. (ILMN - Analyst Report), it is one of the two major providers of microarray technologies, primarily used in the field of genetic research.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for the third quarter and full year 2012 are expected to be a loss of 3 cents and 12 cents per share, respectively.

Currently, Affymetrix is shifting its research and development (R&D) focus from discovery and exploration markets to the faster-growing validation and routine testing markets. The company reckons cytogenetics and cancer research as promising areas for expansion, representing market opportunities of roughly $200 million and $500 million, respectively.

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