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QIAGEN Strong on Molecular Diagnostics, Competition Rife


On Feb 6, we issued an updated research report on QIAGEN N.V. QGEN. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

This Netherlands-based molecular diagnostics provider offers innovative technologies and products for pre-analytical sample preparation and molecular diagnostics solutions. The stock has been trading above the broader industry over the past six months. As per the latest share price, it has lost 2.1% compared with 3.9% decline of the broader industry.

The company ended the fourth quarter on a solid note with earnings and revenues beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate. During the quarter, QIAGEN’s Molecular diagnostics sales increased significantly on dynamic growth in the QuantiFERON latent TB test. Also, double-digit CER growth in revenues from the company’s companion diagnostics partnerships and sustained double-digit CER growth in consumables related to the QIAsymphony automation system contributed to the top line.

Moreover, during the reported quarter, the company surpassed its goal of 2,000 QIAsymphony placements in 2017, reflecting strong demand for the system. Management now aims to surpass 2,300 cumulative QIAsymphony placements by the end of 2018. Also, the company’s focus to drive growth through Sample-to-Insight offerings buoys optimism.

We are also upbeat about QIAGEN’s solid progress with the test menu expansion strategy. In this regard, in January, the company’s ipsogen JAK2 RGQ PCR Kit (ipsogen JAK2 assay) received FDA approval for additional use in the diagnosis of all myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

We also look forward to the implementation of the recently-drawn strategies to boost top-line contributions from the NGS portfolio.

Meanwhile, QIAGEN is exposed to stiff competition. The company is facing intensifying competition from firms that provide competitive pre-analytical solutions and other products used by QIAGEN’s customers. The markets for some of the company’s products are very competitive and price sensitive, which adds to the concerns. Also, strong reliance on collaborations and declining HPV sales in the United States are other negatives.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are PerkinElmer PKI, Bio-Rad Laboratories BIO and Becton, Dickinson and Company BDX.

Bio-Rad Laboratories has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The company has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 25%.

PerkinElmer has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 12.3%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Becton, Dickinson and Company has a Zacks Rank #2. The company has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 12.8%.

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