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Natera Q1 Revenues Increase 26 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Natera reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its first quarter 2018 revenues rose 26 percent year over year.

For the three months ended March 31, the San Carlos, California-based molecular diagnostics firm reported total Q1 revenues of $62.3 million, up from $46.9 million in Q1 2017. It beat analysts' average estimate of $55.1 million.

Product revenues rose 12 percent to $54.3 million in Q1 2018 from $48.4 million in Q1 2017, while licensing and other revenues skyrocketed more than 700 percent to $8.1 million from $988,000 year over year.

The firm said the increase in total revenues was driven primarily by increased volumes of its noninvasive prenatal Panorama test and Horizon carrier screening test, which generated $33.3 million and $18.3 million in revenues, respectively. Q1 revenues also included $5.5 million from a next-generation sequencing agreement with Qiagen, which Natera signed in March.

The company processed 164,355 tests in Q1, up 36 percent from the 121,300 tests it processed in Q1 2017. Of those, it ran 114,700 Panorama tests, 29 percent more than the 88,800 Panorama tests it ran in Q1 2017. Natera also accessioned 41,500 Horizon tests, a 54 percent increase from the 27,000 it ran in the year-ago period.

"With strong growth, new next-generation sequencing platforms emerging, and exceptional data in oncology, we are excited to see all the elements of Natera's strategy coming to fruition," Natera CEO Matthew Rabinowitz said in a statement.

During a conference call with investors to discuss the firm's Q1 performance, Natera CFO Mike Brophy said that the firm has switched from a cash-based accounting process to accrual accounting, meaning the firm reports revenues based on the tests it reports to customers and the estimated collections it expects to receive from those tests. Previously, it had reported revenues based on the actual cash it received each quarter.

Due in part to this switch in accounting, Brophy said that the firm has not raised its 2018 revenue guidance from an estimated range of $250 million to $275 million. Analysts are expecting revenues of $254.7 million for the year.

Natera's Q1 net loss narrowed to $32.9 million, or $.61 per share, from $33.5 million, or $.65 per share, in Q1 2017. However, it missed the Wall Street consensus estimate for a net loss of $.59 per share.

The firm's R&D expenses in the quarter rose 13 percent to $14.3 million from $12.7 million in the year-ago quarter, while SG&A expenses rose less than 1 percent to $37.9 from $37.6 million.

At the end of the quarter, Natera held $33.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, $5.7 million in restricted cash, and $80.0 million in short-term investments.

On Wednesday morning, Natera's stock was up around 8 percent to $12.72 on the Nasdaq.