Illumina Shares Hit 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

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Shares of Illumina Inc. ( ILMN ), a major developer of life science tools for large scale genetic analysis, reached a new 52-week high of $141.00 in intraday trading last Friday. Shares of the company closed at $136.34 on the same day, representing a solid one-year return of 164.3%.

Illumina has a market cap of $17.23 billion. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months stood at approximately 1,465.9K.

Shares of Illumina started escalating following the announcement of its strategic plans. The rise in share price indicates positive market sentiment. Illumina highlighted its goals to strengthen its foothold in the multi-billion gene sequencing market with some highly competitive products in its existing portfolio and pipeline.

Illumina is the first company to be awarded the U.S. FDA pre-market clearance for a next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform with its MiSeqDx system.

The strategy unveiled by Illumina focuses on three major areas. First is reproductive health for which Illumina seeks to expand its portfolio by providing the verifi laboratory-developed non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT). In this context, Illumina acquired Verinata Health in Feb 2013. The company has further plans to launch a few more products for preimplantation genetic screening, as well as an advanced diagnosis solution to identify embryos with severe genetic disorders.

The next focus area is oncology for which Illumina aims to provide good infrastructural facilities and test guidelines for effective cancer genomics solutions. In Jan 2014, Illumina signed an agreement with Amgen Inc. ( AMGN ) to develop and market a multigene NGS based test to be used as a companion diagnostic for Amgen's cancer treatment, Vectibix.

Illumina is set to enter emerging markets , the third focus area, where it plans to launch a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing product in mid-2014. Earlier this month, the company had signed a deal with Quest Diagnostics Inc. ( DGX ), allowing the latter to use the MiSeq genotype sequencing platform and related reagents for molecular laboratory-developed tests. Illumina is also aiming to launch MiSeq Forensic Genomics System (MiSeq FGx) - a technologically advanced software in the first half of 2014.

Illumina currently has a series of innovative products in its pipeline that promise to ease the workflow process and expand its technological tool kit to properly integrate customer needs. The company is working toward the launch of the products in the first half of 2014.

Presently, Illumina has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the broader healthcare sector is Actelion Ltd. ( ALIOF ) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).



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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ALIOF , AMGN , DGX , ILMN , NGS

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