Cincinnati, OH-based Meridian Bioscience, Inc.VIVO , a renowned life sciences company, recently signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Biofirm Technologies. Per the agreement, Biofirm would distribute Meridian Bioscience's proprietary LeadCare II blood lead testing system in Africa.
A glimpse of the price trend of the company reveals that the stock has had a dismal run on the bourse year to date. Meridian Bioscience shed 25.82% versus the Zacks classified Medical Products sub-industry's gain of 9.71%.
Despite the bearish price trend, estimate revision for the stock has been favourable. The ongoing quarter saw four analysts move north over the last two months, with one moving in the opposite direction. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the ongoing quarter rose by five cents to $2.65 over the same time frame. Notably, the stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
The company's LeadCare II blood lead testing system is an FDA approved, portable system capable of providing a quantitative blood lead result in three minutes. It is extensively used in a domestic capacity in pediatric and primary care centers across the nation.
The distribution agreement with Biofirm Technologies will begin with immediate effect. Additionally, the duo is expected to invest in educating physicians and consumers at clinical and governmental levels about the hazards of lead poisoning.
Integrated life science company Meridian develops, manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of diagnostic test kits, rare reagents, specialty biologicals and components. The company has a strong presence in the areas of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections, and blood lead level testing. In addition, Meridian supplies rare reagents, specialty biologicals and components to organizations engaged in research in the life science and agri-bio industries.
We believe lead poisoning is a major health threat because, even at low levels, it can cause behavioral and learning disabilities, hyperactivity and lower IQ. It can also result in hypertension and kidney dysfunction. A report by the World Health Organization on lead poisoning reveals that around 98.2 million IQ points are annually lost in Africa due to lead exposure, which translates into economic losses of $134.7 billion. Meridian Bioscience's latest expansion move seems to be a strategic fit in this dismal scenario.
Stocks to Consider
Better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector include IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. IDXX , Avinger, Inc. AVGR and Fluidigm Corp. FLDM . All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
IDEXX Laboratories has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of approximately 15.04%. Notably, the stock represents an impressive one-year return of 90.6%.
Avinger projects sales growth of 30.7% for the current year. In addition, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 27% last quarter.
Fluidigm has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 25%. Additionally, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 1.6% last quarter.
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