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Accelerate Diagnostics Q1 Revenues Climb 9 Percent, Miss Analyst Estimates

NEW YORK – Accelerate Diagnostics reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its first quarter revenues rose 9 percent year over year.

For the three months ended March 31, the Tucson, Arizona-based firm posted revenues of $2.5 million compared to $2.3 million in Q1 2020, missing analysts' average estimate of $3.1 million.

"First quarter financial results were consistent with our expectations," Accelerate Diagnostics CEO Jack Phillips said in a statement. "We also progressed key commercial and product development programs during the quarter."

The company said that it added two contracted Pheno instruments and brought 12 instruments live in the US in the recently completed quarter and ended Q1 with 274 revenue-generating instruments.

Accelerate's Pheno system combines identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing in one instrument.

The company said an additional 111 instruments with contracts in the US are being implemented but are not yet generating revenues, as instrument revenues declined while consumable revenues grew by 16 percent during the quarter, the firm said.

"In the first quarter, we grew our global revenue installed base, consumable revenues, and funnel of prospective customers," Phillips said on a conference call to discuss the firm's financial results. "Pandemic-related effects in January and February impacted the magnitude of these gains in the quarter."

Since March, as vaccination rates increased and hospitalizations declined in most of the US and parts of Europe, the company has seen a steady increase in customer engagement and more new customers have started using Pheno, Phillips said.

For 2021, Accelerate is focused on increasing adoption of its current integrated ID/AST product and launching product extensions "to open new market segments and position ourselves for market expansion through advancing Pheno 2.0 development and access to new geographies," Phillips said.

The company is developing PhenoAST, a version of its Pheno system for antimicrobial susceptibility testing that can be used along with laboratories' current molecular identification systems, and PhenoPrep System, a kit designed to work alongside MALDI-TOF pathogen identification systems.

In the recently completed quarter, Accelerate closed on the first of three equal $10.7 million tranches of financing announced in December. The second tranche closed in April, and the remaining tranche will close in June, Accelerate's CFO Steve Reichling said on the call.

The firm said that in the recently completed quarter, it closed on the first of three equal $10.7 million tranches of previously announced financing.

Accelerate recorded a Q1 net loss of $24.2 million, or $.41 per share, compared to a net loss of $21.3 million, or $.39 per share, in Q1 2020, missing analysts' average estimate for a loss of $.33 per share.

The company's R&D expenses rose 19 percent year over year to $6.9 million from $5.8 million, and its SG&A expenses rose 9 percent year over year to $14.0 million from $12.9 million.

Accelerate ended the quarter with $42.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein said in a research note on Thursday that "the building blocks continue to be put in place for what we ultimately believe will be broader uptake of the company’s soon-to-be-growing suite of products."

A critical point for uptake of Pheno and Accelerate's new products in the pipeline will be customer access, Weinstein said. "Things are opening up for sure, but for the most part, there is still a lid on access that is tighter in some areas versus others," he added.

In Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq, Accelerate Diagnostics shares were up more than 2 percent to $7.46.