NEW YORK – November was a mixed month for the stocks of many diagnostics firms as the 360Dx Index rose about 1 percent from October.
Of the 32 companies in the Index, seven firms saw their share prices drop last month paced by Quidel (-27 percent) and Accelerate Diagnostics (-17 percent). Meanwhile, 25 companies' stock prices rose, led by Veracyte (+57 percent), Quotient Limited (+47 percent), and Myriad Genetics (+41 percent).
The Index trailed the broader markets as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq were up 12 percent month over month, and the Nasdaq Biotechnology proved 11 percent.
In November, Quidel more than returned the gains it made in October when it reported eye-opening Q3 financial results.
The company did not have any news in November that would explain the decline in its stock price, though positive news of vaccine developments for COVID-19 may have dampened investors' appetites for the firm's stock. Until then, Quidel had benefitted from the coronavirus pandemic, especially as some have called for mass testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease. It is one of just six companies offering rapid antigen tests for the virus that have received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.
As the country, and much of the rest of the world, is experiencing another wave of COVID-19 cases, some have advocated for mass testing as well as serial testing, which is possible only with rapid antigen tests and not with PCR-based tests.
But with at least two vaccines in sight – from Moderna, and Pfizer and BioNTech, the need for tests such as those offered by Quidel may not be as great, possibly resulting in the sell-off of the company's stock last month.
Meanwhile, Accelerate reported a 57 percent year-over-year increase in its Q3 revenues early last month, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate. There were no obvious drivers for the stock's decline later in November, which came on top of a 12 percent contraction in October.
Veracyte started November by reporting Q3 financial results that beat analysts' average estimates on the top and bottom lines. The company also announced during the month that its Prosigna breast cancer test would be reimbursed by public health insurance in Germany, a decision that was made in October.
Quotient also started last month by reporting robust revenue growth for its second quarter and said that it anticipates receiving FDA 510(k) clearance of its MosaiQ instrument and serological disease screening microarray before the end of this year.
Meantime, Myriad said early in the November that its revenues for the three months ended Sept. 30 were down but still beat the consensus Wall Street estimate.
Additionally, the firm published details of a new fetal DNA enrichment method for its Prequel noninvasive prenatal screening test that it hopes will further increase uptake of the test among clinicians and patients. It also announced plans to expand access to its myChoice CDx in Europe and China.
Other big gainers in November included Fulgent Genetics, Genetron Health, and Opko Health, which each grew more than 30 percent month over month. Bio-Techne, Invitae, NeoGenomics, and Oxford Immunotec each were up more than 20 percent in November.