The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Guardant, Illumina, Exact Sciences and Pfizer

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –May 28, 2019 – 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: Guardant Health, Inc. GH, Illumina, Inc. ILMN, Exact Sciences Corp. EXAS and Pfizer PFE.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Stocks to Win Big in the Fight Against Cancer

Cancer, as we all know, is the abnormal growth of cells. And the disease including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma continues to affect several people across the globe. But, there are a few companies that are coming up with innovative methods to cure this malaise. And these companies continue to be great investment choices for long-term investors. Let’s, thus, take a look at these crusaders against cancer.

Precision Oncology Company — Guardant Health

Examining cancer reappearance is widely expected to be a $15 billion market in the United States in the near term, while detecting patients with the risk of cancer is poised to be an $18 billion annual market. Guardant Health, Inc., which is known for developing liquid biopsy (examination of tissue) to detect cancer using blood tests, seems to be in a great position to make the most in the aforesaid markets.

Lest we forget, Guardant Health has progressed by leaps and bounds after it launched LUNAR DNA test that helps researchers detect cancer at an early stage. To top it, the company’s Guardant360 and GuardantOMNI products have played a significant role in identifying late-stage cancer.

Guardant Health has successfully notched upbeat earnings results in recent times, thanks to its aim to match cancer patients with customized treatments. And we all know that an encouraging earnings report does lead to an uptick in share prices. Guardant Health has easily outperformed the Medical - BiomedicalandGenetics industry so far this year (+101.6% vs +2.3%).

By the way, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s expected earnings growth for the next quarter is 79.9%, way more than the broader industry’s projected rally of 8.8%. In the last 60 days, two earnings estimates moved north, with one movement in the opposite direction for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has moved more than 100% up in the same time frame.

Provider of Sequencing Solutions for Genetic Analysis — Illumina

Illumina, Inc., better known for providing sequencing that offers researchers with various applications and the ability to sequence mammalian genomes, is also playing a commendable role in the fight against cancer.

The company’s technologies help researchers identify the primary cause of cancer and its products are also used in various diagnostic tests on cancer. Last but not the least, its gene sequencing systems are used in assessing liquid biopsies to detect cancer.

Illumina’s market opportunities continue to expand owing to accelerated demand from clinical and translational customers. The company’s recent strategic collaborations are also expected to expand its product portfolio. Recently, Illumina declared its partnership with Sysmex

Corporation to commercialize the first NGS based oncology IVD panel in Japan. Illumina is also progressing well with its collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Loxo Oncology in the field of clinical oncology applications, which are expected to garner positive results from the same in the days to come.

Illumina has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). In the last 60 days, nine earnings estimates moved north, with no movement in the opposite direction for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has moved 2.3% up in the same time frame. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The stock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 16.8%, higher than the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry’s projected rally of 6.4%. Illumina has outpaced the broader industry over the past one-year period (+16.1% vs -16.6%).

Molecular Diagnostic Company — Exact Sciences

One of the major causes of cancer death is colon cancer. Majority of the people between the age group of 50 and 85 are prone to colorectal cancer, but, many don’t go for checkups because of the high cost associated with a colonoscopy. Exact Sciences Corp., thus, came up with Cologuard in 2014 as an alternative to a colonoscopy. Not much cost is involved, and the patient just needs to collect a stool sample for test in lab.

Cologuard helped Exact Sciences garner $454 million in revenues last year after it screened nearly 934,000 people. This year, 334,000 people have been screened with Cologuard, thereby boosting first-quarter revenues by 79% compared to the same period last year.

It’s also worth mentioning that Cologuard is the first and the only FDA-approved non-invasive DNA screening option for colorectal cancer. Last August, Exact Sciences entered into an agreement with the drug giant Pfizer to co-promote its Cologuard test for the detection of colorectal cancer in the United States. This nationwide co-promotion deal will be valid through 2021-end.

The Zacks Rank #3 company’s expected earnings growth for the current year 56.6%, way more than the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry’s estimated rally of 6.4%. The company has surpassed the broader industry on a year-to-date basis (+48.9% vs +1.6%).

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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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