After months of consolidation, Bionano Genomics (NASDAQ:BNGO) is breaking down. BNGO stock has plummeted 30% since announcing earnings in early November. While the earnings report was decent, some legitimate concerns and a lack of news continue to weigh on shares.
I’ll admit the genome analysis company is compelling, but investors should wait to see whether the stock stabilizes or continues to fall before taking a position. It’s possible they could still get a better price if we see a protracted downtrend in BNGO stock.
Bionano Grows Revenue From a Small Base
Bionano announced its third-quarter results on Nov. 4. Revenue shot up 112% to $4.7 million, from $2.2 million a year ago, beating Wall Street’s expectations for the sixth consecutive quarter. While the company delivered triple-digit percentage growth, keep in mind that the baseline revenue number was still very small. In other words, the comparison is not as impressive when given the proper context.
Much has been made in the scientific press about the company’s Saphyr optical genome mapping instrument. The company saw a record number of Saphyr shipments and installations during the third quarter: a whopping 24 to end the quarter with an installed base of 141 units.
I find that a bit disappointing. What’s more, operating expenses surged to $21.8 million, up from $11 million a year ago, and the company reported a wider-than-expected loss of $20.75 million for the quarter.
Despite continued losses, Bionano ended the quarter with $326.1 million in cash and short-term investments, mostly from equity raises it did in the first quarter. This should provide it with a cushion as the company expands its sales and marketing team.
Much More Work to Be Done
What a lot of people don’t realize is that science is only half the equation for building a successful medtech business. Adoption of new technology in the medical field can be slow. It often takes a strong sales team to convince doctors to try something new. Even companies with revolutionary medical technologies need the right people to promote and market their products.
Bionano has been expanding its commercial leadership team in order to accelerate Saphyr’s growth and improve customer support.
In October, the company announced it had filled a number of key vacancies: vice president of global customer experience, VP of global sales training and development, VP and general manager of Bionano’s diagnostics services business, Lineagen, and North America sales director. To fill these roles, Bionano poached executives with deep industry knowledge that Bionano hopes to leverage to improve sales and accelerate revenue growth.
In November, the company made two additional critical hires for its marketing department. Stephanie Hoyle was brought on as vice president of corporate marketing, while Alex Helm joined the company as VP of strategic product marketing. Both were former Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) executives, with Bionano noting, “they bring 22 years of experience in the genomics space and 36 years of experience in marketing.”
The Saphyr system has been proven to work and, quite frankly, is a scientific marvel. The key challenge for Bionano is properly marketing the benefits of Saphyr so it will be chosen over existing alternatives. Only time will tell if the company’s new sales and marketing team will be successful in this endeavor.
The Bottom Line on BNGO Stock
The expansion of Bionano’s sales and marketing team with industry veterans is a big step in the right direction. But I must admit that I am getting a little impatient. The company needs to quickly accelerate the adoption of Saphyr to grow its revenue and support current valuations.
Even after the recent sell-off, BNGO stock is trading with a price-to-sales ratio of 69. I have a hold rating on shares for now.
On the date of publication, Joseph Nograles did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Joseph Nograles is a part-time freelance copywriter focused on the financial industry. He has worked in a wide variety of industries from tech to consulting with one of the “big four.” He has always enjoyed analyzing businesses and has been a CFA charterholder for nearly a decade now.