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Cepheid posts 1Q profit as sales improve

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) -- Molecular diagnostics company Cepheid said Thursday that it turned a profit in the first quarter as reagent and disposable product sales improved.

Reagents are substances that contribute to chemical reactions. Cepheid said revenue from those substances and from disposable products grew 22 percent to $75.9 million during the quarter.

It also sold more of its GeneXpert testing systems. Cepheid sold 125 GeneXpert systems commercially during the quarter, and placed another 157 through a program intended to get tuberculosis tests to developing countries. A year ago it sold 121 systems and placed 151 through the developing country assistance programs. Revenue from testing systems and related products edged up to $16 million from $15.2 million.

The company earned $313,000 and broke even on a per-share basis. A year ago, Cepheid reported a loss of $5.5 million, or 8 cents per share. Total revenue rose 19 percent, to $91.9 million from $77.3 million.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 2 cents per share and $89.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Cepheid maintained its full-year outlook, saying it could lose as much as 5 cents per share or earn up to a penny per share. It expects $375 million to $385 million in revenue. Analysts are forecasting net income of a penny per share and $381.2 million in revenue, on average.

Shares of Cepheid rose $1.35, or 3.7 percent, to $37.46 in after-hours trading. During the day the shares fell $1.07, or 2.9 percent, to $36.11.