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Virus Testing Stocks Heat Up (HOLX, ALST, PKI)

While vaccines are on the way and case numbers have started to move in the right direction, signaling the waning of the pandemic crisis, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, it will be with us in some form for quite some time.

While we can potentially get fatalities down to under the seasonal flu over time, new mutations will appear and testing technology will be important for travel and leisure, and other industries for years to come.

With that in mind, we take a look at a few of the more interesting names in the virus testing space, including: Hologic Inc (NASDAQ:HOLX), Allstar Health Brands Inc (OTCMKTS:ALST), and PerkinElmer Inc (NYSE:PKI).

 

Hologic Inc (NASDAQ:HOLX) frames itself as a diagnostics testing technology company that developed SARS-CoV-2 assays on both its Panther and Panther Fusion systems. Both assays enable labs to run over 1000 tests in 24 hours and attain first results in 3.5 hours or less.

The Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 assay is a real-time PCR test, and the Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay utilizes its proprietary TMA technology. Both assays are intended for the qualitative detection of RNA from SARS-CoV-2 isolated and purified from nasopharyngeal, nasal, mid-turbinate and oropharyngeal swab specimens, nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal wash, and lower respiratory tract specimens (Panther Fusion assay only) obtained from individuals who meet COVID-19 clinical and/or epidemiological criteria.

Hologic Inc (NASDAQ:HOLX) most recently announced a multi-year strategic collaboration with Google Cloud that will feature the integration of Google Cloud’s machine learning (ML) technologies with Hologic’s cutting-edge Genius Digital Diagnostics System to transform screening and accelerate the eradication of cervical cancer across the globe.

“Hologic has been at the forefront of cervical cancer screening for more than 30 years, and we are building on that legacy with this strategic collaboration,” said Kevin Thornal, President of Hologic’s Diagnostic Solutions Division. “Enhancing our use of AI with Google Cloud’s machine learning capabilities and cloud architecture is the next natural step in this journey forward.”

The context for this announcement is a bit of a bid, with shares acting well over the past five days, up about 14% in that timeframe.

Hologic Inc (NASDAQ:HOLX) generated sales of $1.6B, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 19.5% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($868.7M against $1.1B, respectively).

 

Allstar Health Brands Inc (OTCMKTS:ALST) is a specialty pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements company. One of its core assets at this point is its partnership with TPT Global Tech, a technology and solutions company. The two companies are collaborating to create and distribute the QuickLAB module, a rapid testing solution for Covid-19.

The two companies had already recently signed an agreement for Mexico and other Latin American countries through TPT Global Tech’s partner New Orbit Technologies. Now, they have signed an expanded agreement to bring QuickLAB distribution to Canada and US to add to the existing Non-Exclusive Distribution Agreement for Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Allstar Health Brands Inc (OTCMKTS:ALST) most recently announced it has signed an Agreement with a Consulting group intending to Distribute the COVID-19 suite of testing capabilities and reporting Software AllStar Distributes for TPT Medtech. The new territories include South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Angola and Portugal.

“Our goal is to quickly build on the model we have begun in Jamaica, and now offer rapid and reliable testing solutions to various sectors of the South African economy, including testing in the vast mining industry as well as other sectors of the economy such as tourism and the public in general,” remarked Dr. Daniel Bagi, CEO of AllStar. “We offer a full range of solutions, including the mobile testing labs which can be set-up at the entrance to mines, complete with all the current testing solutions available: PCR, Antigen, and Antibody tests as well as the QuikPASS and Check & Verify software to ensure the testing is validated across several accepted platforms. The added benefit of the software is that once vaccinations begin, the results will also be available on the individual’s ‘COVID19 passport’. We view acceptance and launch in South Africa as a springboard into other countries in Africa, so we are working towards having South Africa as our entry point into the Continent.”

Allstar Health Brands Inc (OTCMKTS:ALST) generated sales of $178K, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 224.2% on the top line. ALST is surely a more speculative name on this list. But with the company’s recent expansion and partnership, it may also be the most underpriced.

 

PerkinElmer Inc (NYSE:PKI) trumpets itself as a company that enables scientists, researchers, and clinicians to address their most critical challenges across science and healthcare. With a mission focused on innovating for a healthier world, PKI delivers unique solutions to serve the diagnostics, life sciences, food, and applied markets.

The company strategically partners with customers to enable earlier and more accurate insights supported by deep market knowledge and technical expertise. Its team of about 14,000 employees worldwide is passionate about helping customers work to create healthier families, improve the quality of life, and sustain the wellbeing and longevity of people globally. The Company reported revenue of approximately $2.9 billion in 2019, serves customers in 190 countries, and is a component of the S&P 500 index.

PerkinElmer Inc (NYSE:PKI) recently announced that its PerkinElmer New Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Detection Kit received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test individuals without symptoms or other reasons to suspect COVID-19 infection.

According to a new model from The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Open Network developed by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 60% of total COVID-19 transmissions come from those who have no symptoms, signaling that silent spreaders are the ones most often passing the virus around without knowing it.

Even with that news, the action hasn’t really heated up in the stock, with shares moving net sideways over the past week. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -8%.

PerkinElmer Inc (NYSE:PKI) managed to rope in revenues totaling $964M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 36.4%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($258.4M against $1.2B, respectively).

Published by Fiona Gibson

Fiona is a finance graduate and an expert in analyzing market trends.

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