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Out of Sequence

Executive Summary

Applied Biosystems' unexpected last-quarter drop in earnings and revenues, which caused its stock to tumble, were due to an 80% drop in revenues from sales of its high-end sequencing system, and market uncertainty due to a longer-than-usual delay in setting the 2002 NIH budget. But most troubling was the company's comment that "We are just not able to forecast the way we used to." What is certain, however, is that the drop in sequencer sales shows that most of the largest genome centers and commercial genomics companies have adequate sequencing capacity for their near-term needs as they shift from Big Biology whole genome sequencing to Small Biology genome analysis applications.
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