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Exact Sciences Shares Fall, Despite Better-Than-Expected P&L Results

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Exact Sciences reported quarterly profit-and-loss results Thursday that beat many analysts’ estimates. However, investors did not on the whole appear to be impressed, sending the company’s stock price more than 6 percent lower in after-hours trading.

Madison, WI-based Exact (NASDAQ: EXAS), is developing screening tests for a variety of cancers. Its flagship product is Cologuard, a stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer screening.

Exact had previously disclosed several figures related to financial and business performance for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, but did not report full financial results until Thursday. The company’s fourth-quarter net loss was $21.8 million, or 18 cents per share, which beat by 6 cents analyst estimates of a 24 cents per share loss. For the year, Exact reported a loss of $114.4 million. Exact, which has yet to turn a profit in its 23 years in business, reported a net loss of $167.2 million in 2016.

Revenues in 2017 were $266 million, which is in line with the forecast the company provided in January. Exact’s total fourth-quarter sales of $87.4 million eclipsed analysts’ average estimate by more than $1.6 million.

Still, investors evidently saw some cause for concern with Exact’s results. The company’s stock price was $44.99 a share when the closing bell rang on Thursday, down 3.5 percent from Wednesday’s closing price of $46.64 per share. Following the earnings announcement, shares fell to $42.25 in after-hours trading.

A press release the company put out on Thursday mentions several of the same figures Exact first made public last month. The company completed 571,000 Cologuard tests in 2017, with more than 30 percent of that total having been completed in the year’s final three months. In 2016, Exact completed 244,000 of the tests.

As Exact announced last month, nearly 102,000 healthcare providers have ordered Cologuard for patients. Nearly 11,000 of them ordered the test for the first time during the fourth quarter.

Exact estimates it will complete between 900,000 and 920,000 Cologuard tests this year, and revenues will be between $420 million and $430 million. Catherine Ramsey Schulte, a senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., wrote last week that Baird estimates Exact’s revenues will be $426.1 million and the company will complete 947,640 Cologuard tests in 2018.