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Bio-Rad Rides on PCR Test Kits for Coronavirus Amid Cost Woe

Zacks

On Jun 29, we issued an updated research report on Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. BIO. The company’s solid prospects in the blood-typing market make us optimistic while its shrinking gross margin is a concern. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

This California-based manufacturer and global supplier of clinical diagnostics and life-science research products has been outperforming its industry for the past six months. The stock has gained 17% against the industry’s 12% decline.

In the first quarter of 2020, Bio-Rad witnessed solid revenue growth at both operating segments. Further, strength in many of its key product lines across major geographic regions buoyed optimism.

The uptick in core polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Droplet Digital PCR product revenues resulted from robust demand due to coronavirus testing and related research. Further, the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Droplet Digital PCR COVID-19 test kit was encouraging.


Partnerships and collaborations in the time of the pandemic seem strategic for the company. It announced in March that it is providing Real-Time qPCR products to testing laboratories worldwide to screen COVID-19.

Expansion of the company’s adjusted operating margin instills optimism. Strong solvency with slight leverage, solid prospects in blood typing market and focus on international markets are other positives.

On the flip side, escalating costs and expenses are putting pressure on the bottom line. Also, foreign-exchange woes and operation in a highly competitive market raise concern.

Global macroeconomic woes stemming from the coronavirus pandemic are also concerns.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX, Hologic, Inc. HOLX and QIAGEN N.V. QGEN.

Quest Diagnostics’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 7.6%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 7%. The company presently has a Zacks Rank #2.

QIAGEN’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 12.2%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

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