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GenMark Diagnostics Downgraded by JP Morgan to Neutral

NEW YORK – JP Morgan said Wednesday that it has downgraded GenMark Diagnostics' stock to Neutral from Overweight and lowered the molecular diagnostic firm's December 2020 stock price target to $7 from $11.

The investment bank said Carlsbad, California-based GenMark experienced healthy momentum this year in placements of its ePlex molecular diagnostic analyzers, but reimbursement and competitive pressures pose a risk to its business outlook.

JP Morgan analyst Tycho Peterson wrote in a research note Wednesday that a recent survey of lab managers by the investment bank "points to a deteriorating reimbursement outlook for syndromic panel testing," including respiratory and gastrointestinal panels, "within an increasingly competitive molecular diagnostics market."

Pressure associated with competition and reimbursement may erode GenMark's market share or product pricing, or both, and timelines for the introduction of a gastrointestinal panel "remain largely uncertain," Peterson said.

GenMark faces competition from larger players in the molecular diagnostics market, including Qiagen, Luminex, and BioMérieux, he noted.

In September, the investment bank downgraded the stock of Luminex and Accelerate Diagnostics to Underweight from Neutral.

At the Nasdaq close on Wednesday, GenMark shares were down more than 3 percent at $5.41.