Celera cuts 50 jobs on Q3 losses

Alameda, CA-based genetic testing company Celera reported net revenues of $31.5 million for the third quarter compared to $40 million for the prior year quarter. The company also saw a net loss of $8.5 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.4 million, or $0.09 per share, for the prior year quarter. Lower-than-expected sales at Celera's Berkeley HeartLabs (BHL), a clinical laboratory testing service business, contributed to the loss.

As a result, Celera is cutting 50 full-time positions, or approximately nine percent of the workforce. The majority of this action includes the redeployment of resources at BHL in an effort to improve its financial profile and customer focus. Celara will take a charge of $2.2 million in connection Q4 and $1 million in 2010. The company was once the Washington D.C. region's largest biotech operation and had a leading role in mapping the human genome. At its peak, the developer employed 550 people.

"While we're tracking to more than double revenues from our cardiovascular genetic tests, the weakness in sample volume has made us more cautious about our full-year outlook, and we have reduced 2010 guidance accordingly," noted Kathy Ordoñez, CEO of Celera. "As a result of the lower sample volume and corresponding revenue declines at BHL, we are taking immediate steps to downsize the less productive parts of our business as we look to streamline the company and move back toward profitability."

- here's Celera's Q3 results