Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

PacBio Leads GenomeWeb Index in October as Omics Tools, MDx Stocks Trail Broader Market

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Shares of Pacific Biosciences nearly doubled in price during the month of October, driven by the launch of a new single-molecule sequencing system and a 2015 revenue forecast above previous expectations.

The firm led all gainers in the GenomeWeb Index, which rose a little more than 2 percent for the month but trailed the broader stock market. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 8 percent in October, while the Nasdaq jumped nearly 10 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index increased nearly 8 percent. The overall gain for the GenomeWeb Index came after it dropped nearly 8 percent in each of the previous two months.

Among the other top performers in the Index, which tracks the stocks of  31 life science omics tools and molecular diagnostics players, were Fluidigm (+33 percent), T2 Biosystems (+27 percent), and Foundation Medicine (+22 percent). The spike in Fluidigm's stock price was the result of its third quarter revenues topping Wall Street estimates.

The Index's decliners were led by Exact Sciences, which saw its stock price drop 54 percent in October. Early in the month, the US Preventative Services Task Force issued a draft update to its colorectal cancer screening guidelines in which it included fecal DNA testing in an alternative category of strategies to be used in "select clinical circumstances." The recommendation was viewed as a negative for Exact Sciences, and the firm's shares fell that day, though it said that it would work with the USPSTF to "modify its draft guidance to include Cologuard as one of the recommended screening strategies."

Cepheid (-26 percent) and Natera (-24 percent) were also among the firms that saw sizeable decreases in their stock price during October. Cepheid missed its guidance on the top and bottom lines in reporting its third quarter results, though CEO John Bishop asserted that the challenges the firm faces are "transitory [and] fundamentally, we believe there is no change to Cepheid's investment thesis."

There were no obvious catalysts for the decline in Natera's stock price, but its shares have lost approximately half their value since mid-September. The firm is scheduled to report Q3 results on Nov. 12.