Abbot Labs: New COVID-19 Antibody Test Is a Game Changer, Says Analyst

While many small pharma companies are racing to bring various coronavirus-related solutions to market, it is one of Big Pharma’s representatives that has flexed its muscles with the latest meaningful product.

Last week, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) announced it had been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA for its rapid COVID-19 antibody test, BinaxNOW.

The test doesn’t need any instrumentation or equipment, and each test kit is completely disposable. The test provides results in 15 minutes, is priced at $5 and can be overseen by a wide range of people. Despite being a quick solution, it is highly accurate, with 97.1% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity rates.

The U.S. government was quick off the mark and has already gobbled up almost all of ABT’s 2020 BinaxNOW capacity, equating to 150 million units (i.e. $750 million in sales).

As a result of the test’s EUA, Credit Suisse analyst Matt Miksic increased his estimate for the Rapid Test by $5.2 billion. However, Miksic expects the “debate over the sustainability of Covid testing sales to continue.”

The 5-star analyst said, “While there is little debate among investors over the magnitude of near-term sales these new COVID-19 tests will generate, the question as to how long these sales will continue, or how much share ABT will ultimately capture remains actively contested. Our view remains that lateral flow tests, which can be performed without instruments or equipment, by wide range of individuals, will be an important and widely used tool for mitigating the risk of spreading the virus while reopening businesses and schools. While serology (i.e. antibody) tests have seen only limited utility and demand to date, we expect demand for immunity testing to increase as vaccines are approved, distributed and administered.”

Accordingly, Miksic raised his price target for ABT shares from $109 to $136. The implication for investors? Upside potential of 24%. Miksic’s Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating stays as is. (To watch Miksic’s track record, click here)

Overall, based on 10 Buy ratings, 2 Holds and 1 Sell, Abbot has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $116.90, the average price target implies upside of ~7% could be in the cards. (See Abbot stock analysis on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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

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