Friday, June 23, 2017

PacBio Not Back To Square One, But Definitely Back To A "Show Me" Story

Good news has been hard to find at Pacific Biosciences (NASDAQ:PACB) for a while. Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) decision to terminate its agreement with PacBio to develop and market PacBio's technology for the clinical diagnostics market was a major setback in terms of both near-term cash flow prospects and public perception around the value of the technology platform. What's more, with the launch of the Sequel and subsequent reports on its real-world performance, PacBio has once again shown that it struggles to develop and launch systems that deliver the hoped-for performance from Day One.

PacBio shares have fallen close to 60% since my last update on the company, and it I believe the Street has soured too much on the company's prospects in core genomics research. The ongoing improvements in the performance of PacBio's systems should continue to drive adoption, but my fair value estimate of around $6 assumes mid-term revenue growth in the mid-to-high 20%'s and longer-term growth in the mid-20%'s, as well as the ability to earn strong free cash flow on revenue in the $500 million to $600 million range (similar to my expectations for diagnostics company GenMark (NASDAQ:GNMK)). There are absolutely no guarantees that PacBio can hit those targets, nor any guarantees that the markets will grow as hoped or that PacBio's technology won't be supplanted by its rivals. As a high-risk show-me story in an expensive market, though, it is at least worth a look again.

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PacBio Not Back To Square One, But Definitely Back To A "Show Me" Story

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