Codexis Plunges After Sales Decline, Will Exit Biofuels

Codexis Inc., the California-based producer of enzymes for biochemicals, slumped to a record low after sales plunged and the company said it’s exiting the biofuel market.

Codexis declined 15 percent to $1.46 at the close in New York, the lowest since its initial public offering in April 2010.

The company, based in Redwood City, will focus exclusively on enzymes for pharmaceuticals and chemicals, Chief Executive Officer John Nicols said yesterday on an earnings call with analysts. A partnership with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to develop enzymes for biofuels ended last year and Codexis was unable to make the technology commercially viable.

“We have fought an uphill battle against a number of external forces” to produce biofuel enzymes, Nicols said. Those include “the growth of cheap and abundant non-renewable fuel sources, the shifted fuel strategy of our prior partnership with Shell, the delayed economic validation timelines for cellulosic ethanol technologies and the rising political sentiment against ethanol’s growth in the fuel pool.”

Revenue in the third quarter was $3.9 million, down 85 percent from a year earlier. The company’s net loss more than tripled to $9.2 million, or 24 cents a share.

Codexis expects 2013 revenue of $30 million to $32 million, down from an earlier forecast of $35 million to $40 million.

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