The story has been corrected to say that the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index rose 7 percent in February, not 10 percent. We apologize for for the mistake.
NEW YORK (360Dx) — Foundation Medicine, Invitae, Accelerate Diagnostics, and Myriad Genetics each saw their share prices jump more than 20 percent in February to pace the gainers in the 360Dx Index last month.
In all, the index was up more than 5 percent month over month, as the stock prices for 18 of the 25 firms in the index rose, benefitting from an overall bullish market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up almost 5 percent last month, while the Nasdaq Composite grew 4 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index rose 7 percent.
Foundation Medicine followed up on a successful January, when its stock price was up 10 percent, with an even more fruitful February, when its share value grew 27 percent. There were no obvious drivers of the increase, however. At the end of the month, it reported an 11 percent increase in its fourth quarter revenues, which, nonetheless, caused its stock price to retreat slightly the day afterward.
Invitae (+23 percent) also saw a big gain last month. Its share price held steady through the first half of February but then steadily rose in the second half after the firm reported a near-threefold increase in revenues for the fourth quarter and beat the consensus Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines.
The company said that revenues in the quarter benefitted from consistent payment from Medicare for cancer patients that included "catch up payments" to adjust for increased pricing.
Accelerate Dx's shares also had a big jump (+22 percent), as the value of its stock increased throughout the month. Company management had said in November that it expected the US Food and Drug Administration to clear its genotyping platform and blood stream infection testing kit during the first quarter of 2017, and at the end of February the clearance came through.
Brian Weinstein, an analyst at William Blair, wrote in a research note afterward, "[T]he company is uniquely positioned at this time to bring significant value and change to the roughly $2.5 billion microbiology marketplace. Simply put, we are not aware of anyone else who can do what Accelerate can at this time."
Meanwhile, Myriad rebounded from a sluggish January, when its stock price was down about 3 percent, to rise 20 percent in February. It began last month by reporting a modest month-over month increase in its Q4 revenues, resulting in a one-day 7 percent improvement in its stock price. Throughout the rest of the month, its share price continued to grow as the firm reported positive study results for its Prolaris test, BRACAnalysis CDx test, and GeneSight Psychotropic test.
Among the decliners, Luminex's share price was down 8 percent month over month in February, the biggest drop in the index. Early in the month, it said that its fourth quarter revenues grew 20 percent, helped by its acquisition of Nanosphere. However, the firm guided to 2017 margins below the consensus Wall Street estimate, and investors reacted to the news negatively, resulting in a one-day 7 percent retreat in Luminex's stock price.
Other notable decliners included GenMark Diagnostics and NantHealth, with each seeing their share prices shrink by 7 percent.