Illumina unveils plans to cut costs as it faces shrinking margins

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A building on campus at Illumina’s world headquarters is shown on September 1, 2021 in San Diego, California.

Mike Blake | reuters

Illumina on Tuesday Unveiled The DNA sequencing company plans to cut costs to improve its shrinking margins.

The plans, set to begin later this year, aim to reduce Illumina’s annual run rate expenses by more than $100 million, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings release.

The company reported a gross margin of 60.3% for the period, up from 66.6% during the same period a year ago.

“These cost savings will accelerate progress toward freeing up capital to increase investment in high-margin as well as high-growth areas,” Illumina said in the release.

The company is also battling criticism and falling market capitalization due to its controversial acquisition of Grail, a cancer screening company.

The San Diego-based company’s market value fell from about $75 billion to about $34.5 billion in August 2021, the month it closed its acquisition Cancer test developer Grill Key.

Antitrust regulators have repeatedly pushed back on the $7.1 billion Grail deal.

Earlier this month the US Federal Trade Commission ordered Illumina said to divest the acquisition, saying it would stifle competition and innovation.

The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, blocked the deal last year over similar concerns.

Illumina said it is appealing both orders and expects a final decision in late 2023 or early 2024.

The Grill Deal is also a focus of a proxy fight Between activist investor Carl Icahn and Illumina, which has been trading jabs for more than a month.

Icahn, who owns a 1.4% stake in Illumina, is seeking seats on Illumina’s board of directors and is pushing the company to complete the deal. He’s also calling Illumina oust its CEO Francis D’Souza “Immediately.”

The company is urging shareholders to reject three of Icahn’s board nominees during the company annual shareholder meeting On 25 May.

Illumina has repeatedly claimed that Grail has “tremendous long-term value creation potential.”

comber’s sand Claim To offer the only commercially available early detection test that can detect over 50 types of cancer through a single blood draw.

Illumina said last month that the cancer test is expected to generate revenue of about $55 million in 2022 and reach $110 million this year.