NEW YORK (360Dx) – Accelerate Diagnostics reported after the market closed on Wednesday that its first quarter revenues rose 51 percent year over year but still fell far short of the consensus Wall Street estimate.
For the three months ended March 31, 2018, the company's revenues were up to $801,000, compared to $530,000 in Q1 2017. The analysts' average estimate was $2.8 million.
The company reported it signed agreements for 345 instruments. Contracts for customer evaluations total 256 instruments, the firm said, while revenue-generating placements grew to 89 across the US and European regions.
In a conference call to discuss the Q1 results, Accelerate CEO and President Lawrence Mehren noted that "the team made considerable commercial and development progress to start the year [by] expanding the [Accelerate Pheno system's] capability beyond bloodstream infections and sepsis to include patients with severe bacterial pneumonia."
He highlighted that many European countries are making progress toward commercial traction — including France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom — where the firm is implementing specific market access programs.
Mehren acknowledged that Accelerate's sales funnel remains congested, as product sales are taking longer than expected. He noted that the firm's efforts at speeding the process up have also had mixed results.
"While we are increasing the speed of evaluations and and connections to the lab information systems, the contracting process remains challenging," he said.
Accelerate's R&D expenses rose 58 percent year over year to $6.8 million from $4.3 million in Q1 2017 due to investments made in preparation for activities related to the US clinical trial for its respiratory test, the company said. The firm's SG&A costs rose 37 percent to $14.4 million from $10.5 million, driven by higher personnel and customer evaluation-related costs across the US and Europe.
Accelerate recorded a net loss in the recently completed quarter of $20.8 million or $.37 per share, compared to $14.2 million or $.27 per share the year before. The consensus Wall Street estimate was for a loss of $0.32 per share.
Accelerate ended the quarter with $126.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.