Exact Sciences Shares Down After Results For Quarter, Year Announced

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Shares in Exact Sciences suffered double-digit losses Monday after the company announced preliminary results, some of them related to financial performance, for the final quarter of 2015 and the year as a whole.

Madison, WI-based Exact (NASDAQ: EXAS) said it completed about 38,000 Cologuard tests—its stool-based DNA diagnostic for detecting colorectal cancer—during the three-month period that ended Dec. 31. While that figure marks a 12 percent increase over the previous quarter’s total, it falls short of a prediction Robert W. Baird & Co. analysts made in November that Exact would complete at least 42,000 tests during the year’s final quarter.

The company said its revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 were about $14 million to $14.5 million, lower than Baird’s $15.7 million projection.

Exact’s stock price, which finished last week at $7.98 a share before opening at $7.75 Monday morning, continued its slide and fell to $6.99 at market close, a 12 percent decline from Friday’s close.

Revenues for 2015 totaled about $39 million to $39.5 million, Exact said. The company reiterated its projection that revenues will climb significantly in 2016 to between $90 million and $100 million.

In a press release, Exact said last year’s results are preliminary and have yet to be audited. Next month, it will release updated totals and additional financial information, the company said.

Exact said it completed about 104,000 tests in 2015, Cologuard’s first full year in the market. The company again predicted it will complete more than 240,000 of the tests in 2016. Exact CEO Kevin Conroy said he expects employees to get an early boost as they work to meet the target.

“We saw a larger than expected tail-off in patients returning collection kits during the fourth quarter holidays,” Conroy said in a prepared statement. “We anticipate approximately 4,000 kits to be returned in the first quarter that we previously expected to be returned during the last two weeks of December.”

Exact said the cumulative number of physicians ordering Cologuard increased to nearly 27,000 by the end of the year, up about 27 percent from the end of the previous quarter.

Cologuard’s overall patient compliance rate was 71 percent for 2015, the company said. That’s a measure of the number of completed tests relative to the number of stool collection kits shipped to patients. The company said its patient compliance rate is higher than other colon cancer screening tests, thanks in part to the efforts of staff members who follow up with patients and encourage them to take stool samples and send the completed collection kits back to Exact’s laboratory.

Exact’s stock price has fallen 74 percent in the past year. Much of that value was lost on Oct. 6, after a federal report left Cologuard out of a group of recommended colorectal cancer tests, instead identifying it as an “alternative” screening method.