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Here's Why You Should Add Bio-Rad (BIO) to Your Portfolio

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Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.  (BIO - Free Report) has been gaining investor confidence on consistently positive results. Over the past six months, the company’s share price has outperformed its industry. The stock has gained 17.5% compared with 3.7% growth of the industry. Also, the company has outperformed the S&P 500’s 1% fall.

This renowned manufacturer and global supplier of clinical diagnostics and life science research products in the healthcare, analytical chemistry life science research and other markets has a market cap of $8.73 billion. The company’s projected five-year growth rate is favorable at 15% compared with the industry’s 12.7%.

With solid prospects, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock is an attractive investment pick for now.

The company’s estimate revision trend for the current year has been positive. In the past 60 days, two analysts revised estimates upward, with no movement in the opposite direction. Resultantly, earnings estimates increased around 8.2% to $6.20 per share.

Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year revenues of $2.30 billion reflects an improvement of 6.4% year over year.

Let’s find out whether the recent positive trend is a sustainable one.

Solid Global Prospects

In first-quarter 2018, Bio-Rad derived around 62% of its net sales globally. While Europe happens to be the largest international market for the company, first-quarter revenue growth in the region was apparently sluggish. Offsetting this softness, Bio-Rad performed reasonably well, primarily in North America, China and the Asia-Pacific region.

Growth in All Lines

Bio-Rad witnessed sales growth across all channels in the first quarter. Sales in the Life Science segment were driven by higher demand for Droplet Digital PCR, process chromatography and cell biology product lines. Further, rising net sales at the Clinical Diagnostics indicated growth in immunology, diabetes and quality control product lines.

Impressive Synergies From RainDance

Bio-Rad completed the acquisition of RainDance Technologies, Inc. in February 2017. The acquired entity was integrated into its Life Science segment in a bid to solidify its position in the Droplet Digital PCR space.

Further, Bio-Rad has begun to realize synergies from the RainDance acquisition. In first-quarter 2018, Bio-Rad recorded $6 million of RainDance sales in comparison to $2 million in the previous year. The company has also been witnessing solid growth in the sales of Droplet Digital PCR.

Solid Balance Sheet

Effective capital deployment has been one of the key contributors to EPS growth. Bio-Rad exited the first quarter of 2018 with cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $768.5 million compared with $760.5 million at the end of 2017. 

Other Key Picks

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Genomic Health (GHDX - Free Report) , Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN - Free Report) and Stryker Corporation (SYK - Free Report) .

Genomic Health has an expected earnings growth rate of 187.5% for the current quarter. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Align Technology has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 28.4% and a Zacks Rank of 2.

Stryker has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 9.7%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

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