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Investment Research Firm Maintains 'Hold' Rating on Qiagen Stock

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Zacks Investment Research issued a research note on Wednesday maintaining its “hold” rating on Qiagen’s stock and setting a six-month price target of $24 per share.
Zacks’ analysts Varun Parwal and Grant Zeng pointed to several positive factors including Qiagen’s broad customer base, leadership position in the sample preparation technologies market, and string of acquisitions over the past few years as reasons to be optimistic about the firm’s top-line growth. However, they also cautioned that increasing competition could affect Qiagen’s pricing power in the market.
In addition, the analysts said that expansion of Qiagen’s facilities in Maryland and Germany increased the firm’s fixed costs, which may negatively impact its gross profit. They also said that the firm is “continuously upgrading its operating and financial systems and expanding the geographic area of its operations, resulting in the hiring of new employees, as well as increased responsibility for both existing and new management personnel … [which] may place a strain on the company’s management and operational system.”
The Zacks analysts said they are maintaining their “hold” rating with a $24 price target on Qiagen’s shares due to the firm’s strong financial performance in the third quarter, for which it posted revenue growth of 50 percent.
“We are optimistic on a number of new research products and potential breakthrough procedures for fractionation of proteins using Qiagen’s new product offerings,” the analysts wrote. "We would, however, like to see more home-brew protocols begin to use Qiagen’s products and trends in research spending stabilize before we become bullish on the company.”
Qiagen’s shares closed Wednesday at $21.76 in Nasdaq trade.

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