Illumina results impress despite Roche drama

Even though it was distracted by a hostile takeover attempt by Roche ($RHHBY), Illumina ($ILMN), posted better-than-expected results this week for its first quarter. The scrappy company, which focuses on gene sequencing, had a net profit for the quarter of $26 million versus $24 million a year earlier. It has also reaffirmed its 2012 guidance.

The company's results topped analysts' expectations. And even though its total quarterly sales fell to $273 million from $283 million last year, analysts had predicted revenue of a little under $264.3 million, according to RTTNews.

Illumina President and CEO Jay Flatley was pleased with the results, particularly in light of the distraction from Roche. "While some uncertainty exists with respect to academic and research funding in the second half of the year, we have built backlog for the third consecutive quarter and our full-year outlook is generally as we anticipated," he said in a statement.

A bright spot for the company was the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Japan. It still expects to see continued uncertainty in the U.S., at least until the budget is finalized, Reuters notes.

Even though Illumina seems to have beaten back the Roche onslaught and had a winning quarter, don't be surprised if the Swiss giant comes back, said Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Schenkel, as quoted by Reuters. "We don't see good alternatives for them, so if they are fully committed to developing a diagnostics-based sequencer, this remains the best asset available." He added that if Illumina somehow stumbles, a patient Roche could re-emerge.

Still, as we reported yesterday, Roche has other options, including buying Illumina rival Oxford Nanopore. Also, it could work potential deals with academia (and those could prove less expensive).

- read the Illumina release
- get the Reuters report
- check out more from RTTNews