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If you look closely at Thursday’s bad news from Illumina (ILMN), the multibillion-dollar standard-bearer of the genomics industry, you might see a worrisome sign.

Illumina missed its quarterly revenue expectations and slashed its full-year sales guidance by more than 50%, a shocking turn that sent its stock price down about 20%. And the details are interesting: Illumina still expects its core sequencing business to grow about 10% in 2019, but its array services — driven by direct-to-consumer demand — are now expected to fall by 14% on weak demand.


That suggests consumer genetics companies, most of which are privately held, are ordering fewer genotyping arrays, which in turn suggests that actual human beings are buying fewer DNA tests, which could be yet another ominous sign for an industry in flux.

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