Some Boston medical devices firms seem to understand the meaning of saving for a rainy day, according to an Xconomy survey of public healthcare companies, but others are less like the proverbial ant and more like the grasshopper in their lack of thrift.
Of the 44 Boston-area life sciences companies trading on public exchanges the website‘s Luke Timmerman examined at the end of 2008, 19 had more than $100 million saved to withstand the current economic downturn. Four newcomers to the list, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Hologic and Bruker added their ranks to the $100 million club from the 15 listed in Timmerman’s first survey last November.
On the flip side, 13 companies (and possibly three more) had less than $50 million in reserve by year’s end, making them susceptible to layoffs, plant closings, pay cuts or even extinction.
As for the medical device players, it’s a mixed bag. There’s Thermo Fisher Scientific and its $1.28 billion stockpile, double the $625 million it held at the end of 2007.
Then there’s Caliper Life Sciences, which posted a $68 million net loss last year. Caliper reported $26.7 million in cash heading into 2009, asked Silicon Valley Bank for an amended $25 million credit line and cut its annual burn rate by $10 million.
Some firms held steady, like Charles River Laboratories and the $243.6 million in cash and investments it held at the end of December 2008, slightly more than the $225.5 million it had a year ago.
Be sure to check out Timmerman’s full list, which includes the details on local publicly-traded biotech, pharma and other life science outfits.