CombiMatrix Corporation (CBMX)

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CombiMatrix (CBMX)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

February 27, 2013 11:00 am ET


Matthew Clawson - Partner of Investor Relations Group

R. Judd Jessup - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Mark McDonough - Chief Commercial Officer

Scott R. Burell - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Treasurer and Secretary


Zarak Khurshid - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Bruce D. Jackson - Northland Capital Markets, Research Division

Alan Dubrow



Good day, and welcome to the CombiMatrix Corporation 2012 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Financial Results Conference Call. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. [Operator Instructions] I would like to now turn the conference over to Mr. Matt Clawson. Please go ahead, sir.

Matthew Clawson

Thank you, Chris. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the CombiMatrix Corporation 2012 Fourth Quarter Results Conference Call. With us today are CombiMatrix President and CEO, Judd Jessup; Chief Commercial Officer, Mark McDonough; and the company's Chief Financial Officer, Scott Burell.

Earlier this morning, CombiMatrix distributed a news release that summarized its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012.

Before we get started, I've been asked to remind you that today's presentation and answers to questions in the Q&A portion of the call will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. These statements involve material risks and uncertainties that could actually cause results or events to be materially different from those anticipated. For a list and description of those risks and uncertainties, please see the CombiMatrix's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CombiMatrix does not assume any obligation to update or revise any financial projections or forward-looking statements made today.

Furthermore, this conference call contains some time-sensitive information and is accurate only as of this call today, February 27, 2013. Copies of the CombiMatrix SEC filings are available online from the SEC or by clicking on Investor Relations on the company website.

With that, it's now my pleasure to turn the call over to CombiMatrix's President and CEO, Judd Jessup. Good morning, Judd.

R. Judd Jessup

Good morning, Matt, and thank you. Welcome to CombiMatrix's Fourth Quarter and 2012 Year-End Conference Call, and thank you for your participation and interest in our company. I plan on making a few brief remarks about what we believe was a very important fourth quarter and full year 2012, and our thoughts on what to expect in the coming months. Then I'll turn the call over to Mark McDonough, who will be taking over as the CEO next month, as well as turn it over to Scott Burell, our CFO, for financial details.

I'd like to start today by saying we are a much different company than we were 1 year ago. We have a new core management team and a much stronger and more experienced sales organization that has performed very well under Mark's leadership. We streamlined our organization to cut costs and reduced our cash burn, and we've created a new focus and a new strategy that I'll let Mark discuss further.

As most of you know, I'm retiring and leaving CombiMatrix effective March 15. Mark McDonough, who was our Chief Commercial Officer and who has done an extraordinary job building our new sales and marketing organization, will be taking over the Chief Executive role.

I'd like to introduce Mark by saying that when we hired him last summer, he had shown on paper that he could build and lead a sales team. He had delivered great success in his stints at Ventana, US LABS and Pathwork Diagnostics. But it's one thing to talk about building the team, and it's another thing altogether to execute on the ground, translate that hiring into profitable salespeople, make it happen operationally and continue to deliver growing value to our existing and new customers. In only 7 months' time, Mark has executed exceptionally well, and it shows in the numbers we are generating in our core markets. Mark has been a key part of the entire cultural change we are seeing here at CombiMatrix and has helped generate a sense of enthusiasm that permeates our entire team.

I believe the company is headed in the right direction, and that I'm leaving the company in very capable hands.

With that, I'd like to thank you and turn the call over to Mark. Mark?

Mark McDonough

Thanks, Judd. I appreciate it. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for the very kind words. I can tell you the shift we are undertaking here has been a team effort. I'm excited to be taking the reins as the leader of CombiMatrix to continue forward with the new focus and strategy that's currently underway and clearly gaining steam. I'm also looking forward to meeting with shareholders and other interested parties in the coming months.

In the near term, I'll be keenly focused on commercial execution, and we're working to make sure that the sales and operations at the lab do not miss a beat during this transition. That said, I'll also be able to get out and introduce myself and the CombiMatrix story more actively in the investor community, starting later this spring. And I look forward to sharing the progress we are making with all of you as things progress.

I think CombiMatrix last year made what promises to be the most important strategic decision in our history. We made the decision to go from being a laboratory that was trying to do a variety of tests in several diverse markets to a laboratory focused on what we do best and where the opportunity is greatest. Today, we are focused on where the market is growing and leveraging what distinguishes CombiMatrix in the marketplace, prenatal and pediatric testing, particularly, chromosomal microarray analysis, which we call CMA. We are the only publicly-traded company in the world today that specializes in CMA. After months of discussion and candidly stagnant growth, the decision was made about mid-year last year, and so far, the marketplace has responded very well. There's still a long way to go, but we're gaining traction and market share. And we're all very excited about the sales ramp that we've generated in the prenatal testing market.

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