Illumina brightens revenue outlook as diagnostics pay off

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Illumina ($ILMN) charted another quarter of banner revenue growth and, free from the patent suit loss that tanked its Q1 profits, the gene sequencing leader is counting on its expanded weight in the diagnostics world to deliver a 20% sales boost in 2013.

The company pulled in $346 million in revenue in Q2, a 23% jump over the same period last year. Net income came in at $36 million, 56.5% above 2012 and a vast improvement over last quarter's $23 million net loss, which was fueled by a $106.9 million charge tied to a unfavorable ruling in a lawsuit from Syntrix Biosystems.

Now, Illumina is ticking up its full-year expectations, predicting 20% sales growth for 2013 that would translate into $1.4 billion in revenue. The company's shares closed at $73.77 on Tuesday but, following the post-market-closure earnings release, spiked about 6% to $78.50 in after-hours trading.

Driving that optimism are Illumina's recent successes in diagnostics. First, the company's $350 million acquisition of Verinata Health, closed in the first quarter, gave Illumina a stake in the fast-growing market for non-invasive prenatal testing. Verinata's test, Verifi, competes with similar offerings from the likes of Natera and Sequenom ($SQNM), and Illumina is working to spread the diagnostic's reach around the globe, this month signing a deal with pharma giant Teva ($TEVA) to commercialize Verifi in Israel.

Illumina also won a CE mark for a pair of cystic fibrosis assays tied to its MiSeqDx sequencing platform, and the company launched both tests in Europe this month.

But Illumina hasn't lost sight of its history in research-focused technology, today announcing the acquisition of Advanced Liquid Logic for an undisclosed sum. Through the deal, Illumina can offer liquid-handling technology that speeds up the sequencing workflow, the company said, dovetailing with its market-leading products in applied science. 

All that made for a record first half, CEO Jay Flatley said, and Illumina believes it's on track to keep growing as it continues to integrate recent acquisitions.

"Our business demonstrated strong trends globally and our 2013 strategic initiatives for robust long-term growth are progressing as planned," Flatley said in a statement.

As for the Syntrix suit, tied to DNA and RNA analysis technology, Illumina maintains that the claims are without merit, filing a motion this month to get the verdict vacated and, if that's unsuccessful, planning an appeal.

- read Illumina's full results
- get more on the Advanced Liquid Logic deal

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