Total operating expenses in the 2012 fourth quarter were $2.8 million, a reduction of 15% from the prior year fourth quarter total operating expenses of $3.2 million. The reduction was primarily due to the Company's cost-cutting activities and organizational shift to focus resources more fully on its core prenatal markets.
The Company also announced on February 22, 2013 that Mark McDonough, currently the Company's Chief Commercial Officer, will become Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of Judd Jessup, who has announced his retirement, effective March 15, 2013.
"The momentum we had at year-end is also continuing in the new year," said McDonough, "We are continuing to refine our selling organization and approach to take advantage of the prenatal market opportunity, and we anticipate that the de-emphasized oncology business will stabilize soon – allowing for strong year-over-year top line growth in the entire Company for 2013."
Net loss from continuing operations during the fourth quarter of 2012, including substantial non-cash charges, was $(3.8 million), or $(3.31) per basic and diluted share from continuing operations, compared to $(2.0 million), or $(1.87) per basic and diluted share from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2011. Net loss from continuing operations for 2012 was $(9.5 million), or $(8.75) per basic and diluted share from continuing operations, compared to $(7.6 million), or $(8.01) per basic and diluted share from continuing operations for 2011. The increases for all periods presented were primarily driven by non-cash warrant derivative charges of $2.4 million that were recognized during the fourth quarter of 2012, as a result of issuing warrants to certain investors in the Company's Series A Preferred Stock financing, which closed in two tranches on October 1, 2012 and December 6, 2012. Under generally accepted accounting principles, the warrants are classified as derivative liabilities at fair value, with changes to fair value recognized as non-operating credits or charges in the consolidated statements of operations. Partially offsetting the increases in net loss for all periods presented were lower operating expenses resulting from the cost reduction efforts executed during the second quarter of 2012.