Genetic-analysis technology company CuraGen ( CRGN) reported a narrower loss and exceeded analysts' sales expectations in the third quarter, sending its shares higher Thursday.

The company reported a $15.9 million loss, amounting to 29 cents a share, compared with a loss of $22.5 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to lose 34 cents a share.

Revenue reached $9.86 million, up from $5.2 million in the year-ago period and ahead of the consensus estimate of $8.77 million.

The stock rose 6.4% to $3.98.

CuraGen's majority-owned subsidiary 454 Life Sciences showed strong third-quarter sales, driven by its Genome Sequencer 20 system and record demand for its chemical reagents.

"We look forward to the anticipated launch of the Genome Sequencer FLX next year, as we believe the flexibility of this instrument will continue to expand the use of genomic sequencing to a broader range of researchers and drive revenues at 454 Life Sciences," said Frank Armstrong, CuraGen's president and CEO.

Additionally, CuraGen improved its full-year guidance by $5 million and now expects a loss of $60 million to $65 million.