Don't expect the executives at

Applied Biosystems

(ABI)

to tack this award on their wall, but the biotech equipment maker was the worst-performing stock on the

New York Stock Exchange

in the first quarter.

In a quarter that most companies would wish to forget, shares in Applied Biosystems fell more than 70%, according to

Baseline

. A

revenue warning issued March 22 knocked nearly 40% off the stock, helped the company's slide.

Only companies with a minimum market capitalization of $1 billion were examined. The tumble in the biotech sector during the quarter was blamed primarily on sky-high valuations earned during the prolonged bull run for biotech during 1999 and 2000.

But hey, Applied Biosystems isn't the only biotech company to share in this ignominious attention.

Waters

(WAT) - Get Report

, another biotech equipment maker, lost nearly 47% in the first quarter, enough to place 12th on the Big Board's list of losers.

Genentech

(DNA)

was the 16th-worst performer on the NYSE, losing almost 41% during the first quarter.

Biotech firms trading on the Nasdaq didn't perform any better, but the carnage wrought by investors on technology stocks got them off the top of the list.

Still, biotech equipment maker

Affymetrix

(AFFX)

lost 63%; while biopharmaceutical firms

Abgenix

(ABGX)

and

Protein Design Labs

(PDLI) - Get Report

fell 61% and 53%, respectively.

Anyone excited about the second quarter?