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GenomeWeb Top 40 up 2 Percent in March, Following Broader Market

NEW YORK – Stocks of omics and molecular diagnostics companies were up in March, tracking gains in the broader market.

Overall, the GenomeWeb Top 40 was up 2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq also gained 2 percent, while the Nasdaq Biotech Index was essentially flat. Of the 40 firms tracked by GenomeWeb, 21 saw their stock prices decline month over month, while 19 saw their shares increase in value.

Castle Biosciences led the winners with its shares up 23 percent month over month. This marked a recovery from a roughly 26 percent drop in the company's share price at the end of February following its report at the beginning of the month that it received a subpoena from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The company did not provide details on the subpoena, but in a note to investors, BTIG analyst Mark Massaro said the bank believes the drop in share price was an overreaction and that it is maintaining its Buy rating.

At the end of February, Castle reported that its fourth quarter revenues were up 72 percent year over year with strong performance across nearly all test categories. In March, researchers published validation data and a consensus paper on testing recommendations for squamous cell carcinoma covering Castle's DecisionDx-SCC test.

Exact Sciences posted the second-largest rise in stock price in March with shares up 20 percent month over month. In March, researchers funded by Exact published data from a large prospective study assessing the performance of the company's next-generation sequencing-based colorectal cancer screening test.

Standard BioTools' shares were also up 20 percent in March. At the end of February, the company reported that its Q4 revenues were up 4 percent year over year. For the three months ended Dec. 31, Standard BioTools posted revenues of $28.2 million, up from $27.0 million a year ago. The company said it expects full-year 2024 revenue in the range of $200 million to $205 million.

NanoString Technologies saw the largest drop in stock price in March with shares down 33 percent. During the month, the company said it reached an agreement with healthcare investment firm Patient Square Capital, in which the company will acquire substantially all NanoString assets for $220 million pending bankruptcy court approval. NanoString filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early February, a few months after it was ordered to pay damages to 10x Genomics in a US patent infringement suit.

Pacific Biosciences posted the second-largest decline in March with shares down 32 percent month over month. In a note to investors, Canaccord Genuity analyst Kyle Mikson observed that the company's stock is down roughly 60 percent year to date, attributing the drop to "relatively underwhelming" Q4 2023 instrument placement numbers as well as concerns about its "ability to achieve positive cash flows (and satisfy debt obligations) without raising additional capital."

The bank maintained its Buy rating but lowered its price target for PacBio stock to $10 from $14.

On a more positive note, the national Estonian Biobank said in March that it will use the company's Revio HiFi sequencing system to analyze 10,000 human genomes from its biorepository, with a longer-term goal of sequencing its entire 200,000-sample bank. The Institute of Genomics at the University of Tartu has purchased three Revio instruments for this work.

MDxHealth posted the third-largest decline in stock price with shares down 29 percent month over month. This was despite a solid Q4 and full-year 2023 financial report. The company's Q4 revenues were $19.4 million, up 50 percent from $12.9 million in the year-ago period and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $18.1 million. Its FY 2023 revenues increased 89 percent to $70.2 million from $37.1 million in 2022, beating analysts’ average estimate of $69.3 million.

GenomeWeb Top 40        
Company Ticker 31-Mar-24 29-Feb-24 % change
Adaptive Biotechnologies ADPT 3.21 4.11 -21.90
Agilent Technologies A 145.51 137.36 5.93
Akoya Biosciences AKYA 4.69 5.74 -18.29
Azenta AZTA 60.28 65.15 -7.48
Becton Dickinson* BDX 247.45 235.55 5.05
Biodesix BDSX 1.43 1.54 -7.14
Bio-Rad Laboratories BIO 345.87 325.88 6.13
Bio-Techne TECH 70.39 73.57 -4.32
Bruker BRKR 93.94 86.54 8.55
CareDx CDNA 10.59 10.64 -0.47
Castle Biosciences CSTL 22.15 18.06 22.65
Cytek CTKB 6.71 7.70 -12.86
Danaher** DHR 249.72 253.14 -1.35
Exact Sciences EXAS 69.06 57.53 20.04
Fulgent Genetics FLGT 21.70 22.56 -3.81
Ginkgo Bioworks DNA 1.16 1.52 -23.68
Guardant Health GH 20.63 19.00 8.58
Hologic HOLX 77.96 73.80 5.64
Illumina ILMN 137.32 139.83 -1.80
MDxHealth MDXH 2.59 3.65 -29.04
Myriad Genetics MYGN 21.32 20.93 1.86
NanoString Technologies NSTG 0.08 0.12 -33.33
Natera NTRA 91.46 86.49 5.75
NeoGenomics Laboratories NEO 15.72 15.60 0.77
Olink OLK 23.51 22.37 5.10
OraSure OSUR 6.15 7.20 -14.58
Pacific Biosciences PACB 3.75 5.53 -32.19
Qiagen QGEN 42.99 42.79 0.47
Quanterix QTRX 23.56 23.96 -1.67
Quantum-Si QSI 1.97 1.67 17.96
QuidelOrtho QDEL 47.94 45.60 5.13
Revvity RVTY 105.00 109.59 -4.19
Seer SEER 1.90 1.82 4.40
Standard BioTools LAB 2.71 2.25 20.44
Thermo Fisher Scientific*** TMO 581.21 570.18 1.93
Twist Bioscience TWST 34.31 39.29 -12.67
Veracyte VCYT 22.16 23.55 -5.90
Waters WAT 344.23 337.42 2.02
23andMe ME 0.53 0.57 -7.02
10x Genomics TXG 37.53 46.64 -19.53
GenomeWeb Top 40 Average   75.01 73.66 1.83
*Becton Dickinson paid a dividend of $.95 on March 7.        
**Danaher paid a dividend of $.27 on March 27.        
***Thermo Fisher Scientific paid a dividend of $.39 on March 14.