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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Abbott Lab, QIAGEN, Quidel, Hologic and Quest Diagnostics

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 14, 2021 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) , QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN - Free Report) , Quidel Corporation (QDEL - Free Report) , Hologic, Inc. (HOLX - Free Report) and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Testing Space in Focus Again Thanks to New Strains of Coronavirus

Not many expected the New Year to start with tightened COVID-19 restrictions.  The U.K. has already stepped into the third lockdown despite the extensive rollout of vaccines. In the United States, following the holiday season and the Capitol Hill riot last week, many market watchers apprehend imposition of widespread restrictions across the country once again.

Arizona yesterday reported record number of deaths. Washington has already extended public emergency for 15 days.

Abbott in Limelight

Given the relentless surge in COVID-19 cases over the past couple of months, diagnostic laboratories are almost on the verge of succumbing to the enormous pressure of developing COVID-19 test kits. Amid this, Abbott’s endeavor to complete the supply of 150 million BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests by this week has come as a major respite for the government.

We note that through a combined initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of and Defense (DOD), the government, in August, decided to buy 150 million of Abbott’s $5 rapid antigen test for COVID-19. Abbott also promised tcontinue supplying HHS with a total of 30 million tests till March 2021.

The HHS expects the supply of BinaxNow kits to significantly boost the testing capacity of the nation. These kits will be distributed through HHS to different states, territories and targeted entities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health and hospice agencies, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the Indian Health Service (an operating division within the HHS).

Testing Space Grabs the Spotlight Again

Both in terms of diagnostic tests (molecular and antigen) and antibody tests to detect SARS-CoV-2, diagnostic testing companies have invested billions of dollars so far. Though it was initially assumed that once vaccines are rolled out, the demand for testing will decline, the ongoing resurgence in cases has put the focus back on the testing space.

Needless to say, it's once again time for investors to keep a close eye on suitable stocks from the space for robust portfolio gains going ahead.

A Hot Lineup

In December 2020, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Ellume Health’s COVID-19 Home Test as the first over-the-counter fully at-home diagnostic test. Notably, as part of this Australian company’s global COVID-19 partnership with QIAGEN, it is developing COVID-19 tests. Prior to that, Ellume launched Access Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Total test under the collaboration with QIAGEN. Qiagen carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Meanwhile, competing against Abbott’s rapid antigen test, Quidel Corp. recently gained EUA for its QuickVue SARS Antigen test. This point-of-care assay for the rapid, qualitative detection of the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in anterior nares (NS) swab specimens, requires no supplemental instrumentation and is visually read. We note that this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company was the first to achieve the FDA’s EUA for its rapid antigen test Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA in May.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

In terms of molecular diagnostics and antigen tests, Hologic has earned a lot of public attention over the past few months. The company generated solid third-quarter revenues from strong customer adoption of Hologic’s SARS-CoV-2 assays that run on the Panther and Panther Fusion systems. This Zacks Rank #1 company, in October, announced the amendment of the EUA that was initially received for its Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay (that runs on the company’s fully automated Panther system) in May.

Quest Diagnostics another major player in COVID-19 testing space performed more than 22 million COVID-19 molecular and serology tests per its last update. This Zacks Rank #3 company registered significant top-line contribution from COVID-19 testing during the last-reported third-quarter 2020, performing approximately 9.9 million molecular tests and 1.5 million serology tests.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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