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OraSure Stock Ticks Up on Rumor of Declined Quidel Acquisition Offer

NEW YORK – Diagnostics developer OraSure Technologies' stock on the Nasdaq rose as much as nearly 12 percent on heavy volume on Monday following a report that the firm had declined an acquisition offer from Quidel.

As reported by Street Insider, a source at OraSure claimed that Quidel made a bid to acquire the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, immunoassay developer and microbiome testing services provider.

The story called the bid a "takeover approach" and said it was "rejected" by OraSure. The story also suggested that OraSure is evaluating starting a sales process after the bid.

On the news, OraSure's stock rose as high as $11.09 per share on Monday though the gains retreated during the day and closed up almost 3 percent at $10.20. Almost 4.8 million shares were traded during the day, compared to the average daily volume of 913,788.

On Tuesday, OraSure's shares were down a fraction of 1 percent at $10.14 in early morning trading.

Quidel's stock, meanwhile, was up 10 percent to $135.03 on the Nasdaq on Monday. In early trading Tuesday morning, its shares were down 2 percent at $132.07.

OraSure did not reply to a request for comment in time for publication. "We don't comment on M&A rumors," said Quidel's director of investor relations, Ruben Argueta, in an email.

Quidel closed the first quarter with $981.1 million in cash and cash equivalents on the books. During its fourth quarter and full-year earnings call in February, Quidel's CEO Douglas Bryant said, "We have cash and easy access to capital but are not compelled to acquire anything that isn't a great fit strategically."

OraSure received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for a home-use rapid antigen assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 last month. In Q1, the firm reported a balance of $177.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.