SAN DIEGO — Sequenom lost $32.8 million, or 29 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. The genetic analysis and testing company lost $22.1 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

For the year, Sequenom lost $117 million, or $1.03 per share, compared to a 2011 loss of $74 million, or 75 cents per share. During that period, the number of outstanding shares grew to 113.6 million from 74.1 million.

The company’s cost of revenue grew to $21.4 million in the quarter, compared to $9.3 million for the year-ago quarter. The increase was due to an increasing number of diagnostic tests Sequenom is performing for fetal genetic defects, using its new MaterniT21 PLUS technology. In the fourth quarter, 33,000 such tests were performed, compared to 8,000 in the year-ago quarter.

Expenses from performing the tests are incurred up-front, while Sequenom records revenue from the tests only after payment is received. So performing more tests increases recorded losses until payments catch up. The company says once enough of a payment history with the test has been established, it will begin recording estimated revenue.

Sequenom said it had identified and reported an accounting error. The error increased the cost of revenue, but decreased selling and marketing expenses by the same amount. Thus, the error had no effect on revenue or losses for this or any other quarter, the company said.


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