Oxford Immunotec reports narrowed loss, Asia growth in first earnings post-IPO

Oxford Immunotec Global's ($OXFD) first financial report as a publicly traded company revealed a sizable boost in revenue and an improvement in net losses. The positive numbers come at a critical moment, as the company prepares to roll out its new test for tuberculosis.

Oxford Immunotec noted a Q4 2013 net loss of $3.3 million, or $0.38 per share, compared to $4.3 million, or $1.99 per share, losses in Q4 2012.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013 were $10.2 million--a 94% increase from the previous year's $5.3 million and in line with the company's guidance, issued in January.  In particular, Oxford Immunotec saw growth in Asian revenues, with a 268% year-over-year growth to $3.4 million in Q4 2013. The change could be attributed to success in Chinese markets and product approval in Japan, the company said in a statement. U.S. revenues jumped 87% in Q4 2013, compared to the year-ago period, and revenues from foreign markets totaled $2 million, a 13% jump from Q4 2012.

For the full year 2013, the company also posted positive numbers: Revenues were $38.8 million, an increase of $18.1 million over 2012 numbers. Product revenues increased 63% from 2012, and gross profit capped at $20.2 million for the full year 2013--an $11.9 million increase from 2012. Operating expenses also grew considerably from 2012 to 2013 by $6.3 million. The change was primarily due to the company's recent IPO filing and its increased investment in sales and marketing personnel, it said in a statement.

Oxford Immunotec's Q4 growth comes on the heels of a successful IPO filed in November 2013. The company, which launched in 2002, planned on making a modest debut on Nov. 22 with 5.36 million shares priced at $12 each, but soon exceeded market expectations. It opened for trading at $14 and held steady at around $15 throughout the day. Oxford was trading around $22 a share, Tuesday morning, down 3.9% from Monday's close.

Oxford Immunotec joined a series of Dx companies that filed IPOs at the end of fiscal year 2013, including Veracyte ($VCYT), a 2013 Fierce 15 winner, and Foundation Medicine ($FMI), a med tech outfit that also surprised with an IPO of $111 million.

The company planned to use funds from its IPO to advance its T-SPOT blood diagnostic test for TB infection. Prior to its public filing, Oxford Immunotec obtained premarketing approval for its diagnostic in the U.S., a CE mark in Europe and regulatory signoffs in Japan and China. Unlike traditional tuberculin skin tests, the T-SPOT was designed with higher sensitivity and specificity, the company noted in its regulatory filing. As of November 2013, the company had sold more than 2 million tests, including 1 million through the end of its 2013 fiscal year.

Positive numbers from its Q4 earnings report suggest an increased demand for Oxford Immunotec's TB diagnostic test and likely growth in the coming year. The company expects to report revenues ranging from $47 million to $50 million for fiscal year 2014, with Q1 2014 revenues of $11.9 million, it said in its earnings report--numbers consistent with guidance it posted in January. However, the rate of increase will most likely be less than in 2013 due to higher operating costs. Oxford Immunotec plans to use a majority of its funding to expand sales and marketing, to develop its product pipeline and to build infrastructure.

- read the earnings report

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