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Illumina Upgraded to Buy by Canaccord Genuity

NEW YORK – Canaccord Genuity on Wednesday upgraded its rating for Illumina to Buy, with a new price target of $445, based on improving trends in the sequencing instrument maker's core business.

"With a mega-trend like precision medicine, you can only bet against the market-leading technology enabler for so long," Canaccord Genuity Analyst Max Masucci wrote in a note to investors. "Illumina has addressed many of the concerns that led to our July 2019 downgrade of the stock, and we see a bright future for the company as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic."

The upgrade comes right after the US Federal Trade Commission said it will challenge Illumina's planned acquisition of liquid biopsy firm Grail.

"We continue to see a long runway for growth in Illumina's core business, given the minimal penetration of genomic-based research and clinical applications, and believe the stock is worth owning at current levels even without Grail," Masucci wrote.

No other analysts changed their stock ratings for Illumina, although Barclays lowered its price target to $285 from a previous target of $325.

In Wednesday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Illumina rose 3 percent to $381.44 after falling 6 percent in response to news of the FTC's challenge.